Cebu hospital doctors’ pay scrutinized

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Thursday, May 31, 2012


THE Cebu City Council approved the hiring of 14 consultants for the Cebu City Medical Center (CCMC) but asked why some doctors would seek a professional fee of over P15,000 from indigents.

The Council, through the resolution penned by Councilor Ronald Cuenco, authorizes Mayor Michael Rama to sign the contracts of 14 doctors for the city hospital's pediatric ward.

Each of the consultants will receive a monthly compensation of P4,000. One training officer will receive P5,000 and the chairman will get P6,000.

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Councilor Rodrigo Abellanosa then asked about reports of consultants charging additional fees at CCMC.

Cuenco admit there are cases wherein some consultants ask for fees because the compensation given by the City Government is very minimal.

The fees will be subjected to the Commission on Audit (COA) rules, though.

“If disallowed by COA, then they can no longer collect,” Cuenco told members of the Council.

But Councilor Margarita Osmeña said if there is already a consultancy fee, then why should the doctors also collect a professional fee?

It was Osmeña who first raised the practice of some doctors after a person complained to her of being charged a professional fee of P15,000.

Cuenco explained there are some doctors who are not covered with a contract but are called to the hospital in extreme cases when a highly specialized medical professional is needed.

He admitted that some doctors charge as much as P15,000, but that this is covered by the City Hospitalization and Medicines Program (Champ), which allows a P25,000-coverage for a patient.

Osmeña received information, however, that the professional fees were not covered by Champ and were billed separately.

“There are some cases wherein doctors with expertise in surgical or other medical procedures want to be paid punctually,” explained Cuenco.

Processing of Champ claims takes time.

“Rest assured that we will ask highly specialized doctors to consider the fate of the constituents. This has to be looked into and I will follow it up during the next meeting,” said Cuenco.

When sought for comment, Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama said this is the reason people, including the private sector and the congressmen, should help the CCMC.

Rama’s political rival, Rep. Tomas Osmeña (Cebu City, south district), has repeatedly sought the closure of CCMC.

Rama admits there are cases wherein professional fees can no longer be shouldered by Champ because the hospital and medical bill has used up the entire coverage.

“Tabangan jud nang CCMC (It should be given assistance),” said Rama.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on May 31, 2012.

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