Probe sought on charity wards phase out planBy Karen Boncocan
MANILA, Philippines—A lawmaker has filed a resolution urging the House committee on health to investigate reports that charity wards in government-owned hospitals would be phased out to make way for PhilHealth wards.
This was what House Resolution 2588, filed by Bayan Muna Representative Teddy Casiño, sought to do despite the Department of Health’s clarification that the charity wards in state-run hospitals will not be totally removed.
He said that charity wards should be kept since even PhilHealth members or those sponsored by the government are forced to pay for their hospital bills due to the government health insurance’s limited coverage.
Citing a Social Weather Station survey this May, the lawmaker pointed out how the PhilHealth-sponsored program covers only 5.2 million families—barely half of the 11.1 million self-rated poor families.
He argued that healthcare will be inaccessible to the poor once PhilHealth wards are in place and said that DOH’s recent “toning down” of its announcement was just done due to the “massive negative reactions from the public.”
“As it is even with PhilHealth, at the rate of government spending on health, hospitals will continue to suffer shortages, from insufficient manpower to empty pharmacies,” said Casiño.