The health insurance-A A +A
By Ben Emata
Thursday, March 31, 2011
ONE of the problems of the Filipinos is not so much on food, clothing or shelter but above all things, the matter of health. Things go upside down and nearly all members of the family are in panic when one is sick, especially if gravely sick.
Money is always at stake when one is seriously ill. No hospital or doctor would accept a patient with a major problem unless he or she has money. Of course, there are some government health centers, which accommodate, in the name of charity, minor cases but not when the matter involves bigger problem.
In the USA and some other countries, the governments have especial program for its people. Americans, when they reach 65 years old, are automatically covered by health insurance plus some amount every month for pension. When he gets sick, the amount involved, including surgery and fees of medical specialists, are paid by the insurance company. No worry to the patients or their families.
In this way, the medical institutions do not reject the patients and money is not at issue whatsoever. The patient does not worry anything except to take care of himself while recuperating.
In the Philippines, Filipinos are taken for granted by the government. It is "to each his own" whenever and wherever catastrophe strikes. Our politicians never thought of protecting the citizenry against illnesses and medical attention. In some instances, patients in bad shape are shut out for failure to put up money as a requirement for admission.
It is not new for people to encounter problem with hospitals and medical professionals because of refusal to treat or rejection to admit. Many cases have reached the courts because patients die without having been touched by a physician. Naturally, we know for a fact that treating people and accommodating them in the institutions is business no matter how you look at it. Hospitals and doctors cannot survive unless paid for the services rendered.
It is, therefore, necessary that the country should have a special program that would undertake the problem of insurance coverage, one that includes medicines and major procedures.
We notice huge budget for nearly all departments in the government system, foremost among them the department of public works, the military, etc. but we continuously ignore the problem of health. We must awaken our legislators to reach their senses and have a look at such an important situation.
Another thing that should be given preferential attention are the senior citizens who normally become ill every now and then on account of old age. They should have a special attention in the law of insurance coverage.
Published in the Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro newspaper on April 01, 2011.