Additional 10 percent for medicines; bigger medicine budget sought by CCMC

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MEDICINES sold to patients in the  Cebu City Medical Center (CCMC) carry a 10 percent additional charge  even though the facility is a government hospital.

CCMC chief Dr. Gloria Duterte told the council’s budget committee this is part of the hospital’s revenue generation efforts.

During the budget hearing, Councilor Rodrigo Abellanosa clarified reports that patients were referred to private pharmacies recommended by the CCMC for their medicine needs.

“Why do you have to jack up (prices of medicines)?” asked Councilor and budget committee chairperson Margot Osmeña.

“At least the hospital earns additional income,” Duterte  replied.

Duterte is asking for a P379 million budget for the CCMC next year.

With less than two weeks to year end, the city hospital needs to earn P38 million to meet its  2012 target collection of P104 million.

Duterte said the shortfall may still be reduced after they collect about P29 million from accounts receivables.

These include P15.9 million from City Hospitalization Assistance Medical Program (CHAMP) collectibles of the city government, P10.6 million in Philhealth reimbursements, pork barrel charges at P2 million and payables from promisory notes at P480,000.

Duterte told the council that while they were given a P40 million budget for drugs and medicine this year, CCMC was still short of supplies due to delivery delays.

She said the purchase request she prepared last January for P40 million worth of drugs and medicine was processed only last July because the city didn’t have money to pay for the order.

To date, about P13 million worth of medicine purchases remain undelivered.

For next year, Duterte said the P379 million budget includes P80 million for drugs and medicine appropriation or double the amount allocated for this year.

Duterte said  CCMC would normally need injectibles and oral medicines.

Supplies that aren’t readily available at the hospital pharmacy  have to be bought outside by patients.

Abellanosa asked Duterte to furnish the council with a full accounting on how much they earn from drugs and medicines sold to  patients.

“There seems to be  a mismatch of the budget (you are asking for) and the capacity of the government to generate the needed funds.  We cannot support a budget that is not accustomed with reality. We cannot support what we do not have,” Councilor Alvin Dizon told Duterte. Chief of Reporters Doris C. Bongcac

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