Court orders St. Luke’s hospital to present American patient unable to pay bills


MANILA, Philippines — A Quezon City court ordered the Saint Luke’s Medical Center, on Wednesday, to produce before it an American patient, who has been confined for over three months at the medical facility and has not been discharged because of his unpaid bill of close to P1 million.

Quezon City regional trial court branch 84 Judge Luisito Cortez directed the hospital’s officers who allegedly authorized the “continuing confinement” of American missionary and war veteran Jerry Allan Hanson to produce him in Thursday’s scheduled hearing before the court.

Cortez, in his two-page order, also instructed the respondent to file a comment and show cause why the petition for the issuance of the writ of habeas corpus for Hanson should not be granted.

A petition filed in Hanson’s behalf by his attorney-in-fact Arlene Icasiano described Hanson as a United Gospel of the Living God missionary who has been in the country for five years, helping out young orphans using his own resources.

“Unfortunately he [Hanson] got sick. He has no relatives in the Philippines to take care of him but Filipino friends brought him to the St. Luke’s Hospital where he [has] undergone a major operation. He was confined on Oct. 3, 2012. He spent the amount of no less than P704,000 in the hospital for his doctors and hospital bills. Mostly his medicines are purchased by him personally,” the petition stated.

Hanson has been ordered discharged by his doctors as early as Dec. 20, 2012, but the formal bill amounted to P800,000.

Hanson, the petition stated, was unprepared for a total bill of P1.5 million. “Since he [Hanson] is presently confined, he has difficulty raising the amount of P800,000 and his bill will continue to rise as his present bills are still not included.”

To pay off the bill, Hanson requested that he be temporarily released so he could obtain a health care refund and financial help from the US Veteran’s Office, which could only be processed if he personally applied for them. His lawyer wrote St. Luke’s twice asking for Hanson’s discharge, but the hospital refused to grant the request.

“Petitioner [Hanson] verbally appealed and also formally sent a letter addressed to the proper officer of the hospital, requesting it to allow him to go home to minimize the indebtedness as the hospital still charges the petitioner the amount of P 2,000 a day. But the respondent refused and continually fails and refuses to discharge petitioner,” the petition claimed.

The Dec. 29, 2012, letter Hanson sent to the president of St. Luke’s asked the hospital to allow him to sign a promissory note, so he could get out of the hospital and personally raise the money to pay for the bill.

He had stated in his letter, “Sir, let me reiterate that I am not a bad person; just happened to end up in bad situation for which, if continuously confined here in your hospital, will remain helpless as I am now.”

Apart from ordering St. Luke’s to file its comment or any appropriate pleading in answer to the petition, Cortez ordered Icasiano and Hanson’s counsel Arturo Temanil to appear before the court and substantiate their allegations in the petition.

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Disclaimer: The comments uploaded on this site do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of management and owner of We reserve the right to exclude comments that we deem to be inconsistent with our editorial standards.

  • Jozz

    The hospital doesn’t deserve to use the name of St. Luke. How about the name St. Greed or St. Money instead? It is more befitting. St. Greed Hospital for me is the better name to use. Or how about St. Heartless as in St. Heartless Hospital?

    • erica

       I agree. Notorious ang St. Lukes na pang mayaman lang ang ospital na yan kaya dapat St. Richie? Pang politicians lang kasi yang hindi pang gospel worker kaya bakit don dinala si Kano. 

      • Kalapok

         san mo gustong dalhin si kano? sa PGH?

    • Alex

      It’s also known as “Saint Loot”

      Perhaps they are waiting for a ransom from the relatives or us government.

  • novaliches

    Kawawang kano, nagpunta sa pinas para makatulong sa mahihirap, yan ang napala.

  • tata_boy

    sino ba ang may-ari ng hospital na ito? masyadong mukhang salapi.

  • go88

    so far for our ‘alleged’ hospitallity and worshiping of caucasians …. good luck if they treated us like we treat them when we travel abroad.

    • gmaisthebestpresident

      wow! ang layo naman ng comment mo sa news sa itaas.

      • erica

         ano kaya ang point ng comment na yon? hospital bill hindi hospitality ang issue hahahaha

  • picker_blend

    kaya ako, nagkaka-allergy pag may nakitang pangalan ng kung anong santo ang isang gusali. malamang, ang mga naka tira diyan, napakalayo ng ugali sa kung sino mang santong nakapangalan ang gusaling ‘yun.

  • kalikasanipagtanggol

    Akala ko ba may batas na bawal na ang ganito practice na pangho hostage ng mga ospital sa mga pasyente hindi makabayad? ANYARE Judge?

    • Rj Nieto

      Kaya nga inaksyunan na ng Judge. Basa basa rin.

  • Ben Tampadong

    Kakahiya naman ang St. Lukes. Although we all understand that they also need to take care of their business,  this only shows that their main priority is revenue, nothing more nothing less. I definitely agree on user Jozz posts, they don’t deserve to use the name St. Luke.

    I bet kung di to nailathahala sa INQ hanggang ngayon nakakulong pa rin ang kaawa-awang misyonaryo.

  • rjimenez1226

    Walang kaluluwa talaga itong St Luke. Paimbestgahan ang lahat na mga doktor diyan for tax evasion!

  • rjimenez1226

    kasuhan niya ng P100 million   ang hospital for  illegal detention. Tulungan ang Kano! Calling US Marines, your compatriot is being held hostaged at St Lukes!

  • doublecross

    wow…grabe pala ang st.lukes….

  • i_am_filipino


  • novaliches

    may pagka- abu-sayaf din itong ospital, mahilig mag-hostage. at maniningil din ng “board and lodging”.

  • bakitkailangan




    St. Luke’s was established in 1903 by American Episcopalian
    missionaries as a charity ward and dispensary hospital. St. Luke’s started out
    as fully free outpatient clinic for the poor in Calle Magdalena, Tondo. More
    than a hundred years later, St. Luke’s still provides socialized medical
    services to the Filipino people. It also supports and conducts medical, dental
    and surgical missions in rural areas. It was transformed into an independent,
    non-sectarian, non-stock, non-profit corporation in the 1970s. (Wikipedia)

    HANSON a United Gospel of the Living God missionary who has
    been in the country for five years, helping out young orphans using his own
    resources. (Philippine Daily Inquirer)

    It is a shame that a human being who has the same goal as
    St. Lukes hospital has to suffer so much because the latter is now a bastion of
    money greed.

  • Daniel Nielsen

    recently in a hospital near me a man was shot. they bought him to the hospital but they wouldnt admit hin because he didnt have 20000pisos int was in the middle of the night and didnt have access to any money till morning they ignored him.. he laid screaming in the hospital lobby until he died.another woman died when her ovaries burst and she didnt have 500 pisos. there isnt much in the way of a hippocrates oath, foreigners have to usually pay triple when they go to a hospital. i know from personal experience

  • D L

    is it not called illegal detention?

    the business should be renamed to Devil’s Greed hospital.

  • Pidro Bayan

    I was told there is a top management executive at st luke who is neurotic! 

  • mavtan

    Ganyan ka garapal ang mga private hospital sa Pilipinas. Alam nila may kakayahan na makabayad yung amerikano kaya iniipit nila. Sana magkaroon lahat ng malalang sakit ang mga doktor at mga direktor ng mga ganyan hospital. Mga gahaman!

  • indiosbravos2002

    They should drop the St. In st. Lukes hospital. Tutal puro kurap at magnanakaw naman welcome dyan… GMA, CIRONA, ABALOS and MORATO.

  • juan_tamad

    yey! i believe there was better way to handle this situation that would have catered to both parties’s interests. For you people who are condemning what the personnel at St. Luke has done, note that you need to both consider humanitarian and business grounds in this situation. Malaking pera din ang 800K, which dahil nga pangit ang pagkahandle ng taong responsible dito, mas lumago into 1.5M.

    So, if I’m the owner of St. Luke’s, siguro sisibakin ko ang taong nghandle ng case na ito. Certainly, keeping the patient inside the hospital is obviously counter-intuitive, patuloy tuloy lumaki ang bills nya. So it’s not an option.

    Releasing the patient, and then rely on faith ba na he will return and pay off his bills would have been a better choice. Of course, they will need to consider the risks first, and then devise some plan on how to minimize them. That I think should have been the way…

  • mxsclxmxn

    …the hospital is here for MONEY!

  • Diepor

    They are holding this person against his will. He is kidnapped. Why doesnt the police get him out of there? Only in the Philippines.

  • Venessa Sison

    this is only in the philippines!

  • Rovingmoron

    For the sake of humanitarian reasons, the St. Lukes Hospital management should reconsider the patient’s options. Otherwise, the Quezon City court will be the last to decide on the patient’s predicament. Oh, Holy Molly!

  • Garo Ungaro

    What the hospital did is tantamount to illegal detention? They should just release the patient
    and let the hospital collection agency handle the collection of the unpaid hospita/medical
    bills.The illegal detention compounded the patient medical bills, to 1.5M. The patient can
    sue the Hospital management for this gross/illegal detention. This patient is in the country
    for humanitarian mission at his own volition, helping the poor..They should give him that
    consideration. He did not get the hospital services free…He paid for that at the same time
    give a promissory note to repay what ever balance later?

  • jamesgeorge

    That was a good move by St. Luke’s managers! Now, you have exposed yourselves to the public just what kind of people are you!!! You put the name of St. Luke to shame!!! Wala kayong konsensya at kaluluwa! Ang lulupit ninyo sa ngalan ng pera, illegal detention ang kaso jan at magandang makulong yung mga opisyales nyang ospital na yan! Laging ganyan ang ginagawa nyang mga yan, ikukulong ka sa ospital na parang kriminal!!! Palitan na lang ng pangalan ang ospital, luko-luko ang mga administrators jan!

  • intsikbeho

    kaya pala nang ma confine ako sa st lukes eh katakot takot na mga documento at release orders na kelangan pirmahan ng kun sino sino pa bago ka paalisin. 

    sobra sa pagka sigurista sa pag bantay sa bayad kala mo tatakbuhan. 

  • Arlene Icasiano Hanson

    Praise God..the trouble is over. The court has made sure that both parties are secured. We do not have anything against St. Lukes Hospital. We are grateful to my husband’s doctors; they are good and very excellent doctors; also the nursing staff- truly good and caring people; also the radiation staff and most of all, to their nutirtion department. They truly took ecellent care of my husband…. Pero un nga lang, nagkaproblema lang sa Administration but of course, we understand that they are into business…our doctors fortunately are very considerate people and they really did eir best no matter what the situation thank you to Dr. Partosa, Dr. T.uano, Dr. Roel Tolentino, Dra Balajadia, Dr. Carlos Dy, Dr. Kenneth Sy

  • Arlene Icasiano Hanson

    We truly appreciate you guys, all of you here and Inquirer, for rallying for the cause of freedom and human rights..We are praying that that St.. Lukes will be more compassionate to patients. I just hope that we Filipinos know that our state covers our sovereign rights as people and our liberty should not be taken for granted.. My husband loves the Philippines and the Filipino people and he is willing to give his life to see this country rise up again to its God-given destiny. We are praying we will learn from this sad story…God bless us all…

    • Garo Ungaro

      Your’re just lucky, some remains under this management spell.Hope, you the
      best. Just reminding St. Lukes Hospital there’s nothing wrong with what your
      doing, excellent hospital. The only problem is your practicing in a third world country…

  • kismaytami

    Eh kasi nga, hindi yan ospital, kulungan yan, dyan nagpapakulong yung mga kurakot kapag arestado na sila.

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