Mayor Lim bullish on free hospital care for allBy Jaymee T. Gamil
Philippine Daily Inquirer
MANILA, Philippines—Manila Mayor Alfredo Lim does not have the heart to follow a recent Commission on Audit suggestion to charge non-residents who receive treatment in hospitals run by the city government.
“What will we do with emergency cases that arrive at the hospital?” he said. “We need to admit them. If they’re from Pasay or Quezon City, we can’t tell them to go back to Pasay or Quezon City,” Lim told reporters in Filipino on Wednesday after inaugurating a newly concreted road in Tondo.
Lim put his foot down on the idea of requiring patients to present a voter’s ID, barangay certificate or any other proof of Manila residency before being admitted for treatment.
“My only order is to examine the patient. If sick, heal them,” he said. “We have to admit the sick, particularly those who are truly poor, for humanitarian reasons.”
COA, after an inspection of the Justice Jose Abad Santos General Hospital, Gat Andres Bonifacio Hospital and Ospital ng Tondo, recommended, among others, that the city government collect a minimal service charge from patients who are non-residents of Manila because the free hospitals had no other source of income but the city’s subsidy.
Though COA called the public hospitals a big help to indigent patients, it noted that the lack of income gives rise to inadequate facilities.
Each of Manila’s six districts has a hospital of its own run by the city government: the Justice Jose Abad Santos General Hospital, the Gat Andres Bonifacio Memorial Medical Center, the Ospital ng Tondo, the Ospital ng Maynila, the Sta. Ana Hospital and the Ospital ng Sampaloc.