Gordon asks DOH to act on private hospital in Subic overcharging patients
MANILA, Philippines — Senator Richard Gordon urged the Department of Health (DOH) to look into reports alleging that “exorbitant” fees are being charged by a private hospital based in Subic Bay Freeport Zone (SBFZ).
“I write in connection with reports that I have received with regard to unjust practices committed by Unihealth – Baypointe Hospital and Medical Center, a privately owned and controlled hospital operating in the Subic Bay Freeport Zone,” Gordon, former chairman of Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA), said in a letter addressed to Health Secretary Francisco Duque III on Wednesday.
“The hospital is clearly violating laws, rules, and regulations. I trust that your good office shall give the above matters the usual prompt attention,” Gordon added.
The senator said a patient’s relative in the hospital reported that Baypointe charged an “exorbitant” fee amounting to P6,000 per unit of blood. However, if the patient would provide two donors, the fee would be P1,000 per unit.
Gordon, chairman of Philippine Red Cross (PRC), said that they also charged a retesting fee of P6,000 per unit of blood.
However, he noted that with the excessive charges of the hospital, the patient’s total expense on blood would reach P200,000.
The senator also cited that the Baypointe Hospital charged P2,980 for admission into Intensive Care Unit (ICU) and P1,650 for board and lodging in the ICU.
Gordon also raised the issue concerning the hospital’s charges on medications, such as drug retails at P700, that were being sold P1,600 by Baypointe Hospital.
With this, Gordon said the hospital’s practices were “unjust” because it overcharged its customers despite having tax benefits.
“I find the above practices of overcharging its patients unjust, considering that the hospital enjoys tax perks because it operates in the SBFZ, such as duty-free importations of raw materials, capital and equipment and paying 5% tax on Gross Income Earned instead of the usual corporate tax rates, among others,” the senator said. /jpv
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