Manila councilors allot P150M for Estrada’s Orange Card healthcare program
MANILA, Philippines–The Manila City Council has approved a budget infusion for the city’s healthcare program which will allow the local government to shoulder the medical expenses of registered indigents and other qualified residents.
The city council recently approved a resolution appropriating P150 million from the city’s statutory and contractual obligations fund this year for the city’s so-called “Orange Card” healthcare subsidy program.
The money will be used for the payment of laboratory tests, the purchase of medicines and supplies, PhilHealth cards and other expenses under the
The Orange Card program was conceived by Mayor Joseph “Erap” Estrada at the start of his term to make the operations of the six city-run hospitals more sustainable.
Poor residents can apply for an Orange Card which will entitle them to free consultations, medicine and any of the facilities and services offered by the six hospitals.
These are the Ospital ng Sampaloc, Gat Andres Bonifacio Hospital, Jose Abad Santos Hospital, Ospital ng Maynila, Santa Ana Hospital and the Ospital ng Tondo.
On the other hand, other residents can also apply for subsidies and discounts on the same services.
The city government is keen on promoting the new, subsidized and structured healthcare scheme which is a departure from the policy of past administrations to open services in the six city-run hospitals to anybody for free, even if they have the capacity to pay or are not even residents of the city.
This resulted in the depletion of the funds appropriated to the six hospitals over several years.
City government officials also stressed that Orange Card holders should not be asked to pay for anything in these hospitals.
At the same time, they urged card holders to report to the city government any hospital staffer who charges them for services.
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