MANILA—The Department of Health (DOH) on Wednesday warned hospitals anew against charging COVID-19 patients for donated medical supplies and equipment.
In an online press briefing, Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said patients should only be charged if the hospital purchased the medical supplies, such as personal protective equipment (PPE) sets, on its own.
“Kung ang mga PPE na ginagamit sa isang ospital ay nagmula sa donasyon, hindi po maaaring pabayaran ito ng mga ospital sa kanilang mga pasyente,” she said.
(If the PPE sets used by a hospital were donated, the hospital cannot sell those to patients.)
“Lagi naman naming sinasabi na kung meron naman kayong kakulangan sa inyong mga PPE, mangyari lamang po na sumulat kayo.”
(If hospitals need PPE sets, let the DOH know by writing to us.)
Vergeire said the agency would be keeping tabs on errant hospitals amid the COVID-19 crisis. The public can also report violators through their hotline numbers – 894-COVID and 8651-7800 local 1149 or 1150.
As of Tuesday, the health department has donated some 1.7 million face masks, 370,000 head caps, 345,000 gloves, 287,000 coveralls, 168,000 gowns and 157,000 googles to different hospitals.
The DOH has also handed out 149,000 KN95 face masks, 83,000 N95 face masks, 41,000 face shields, 2,392 thermal scanners, 30 non-invasive ventilators and 2 sanitation tents to health facilities.
To date, the Philippines has recorded 8,212 coronavirus infections, of whom 558 died while 1,023 recovered.