Hike in services’ rates proposed-A A +A
Sunday, October 21, 2012
THE Cebu City Medical Center (CCMC) wants to impose new fees and increase its rates for laboratory and other hospital services.
Upon the request of the hospital board, Councilor Ronald Cuenco recently filed a proposed ordinance titled, “The CCMC Rate Rationalization Ordinance 2012,” which covers the rate increase.
The City Council, during the public hearing of the proposed measure last Wednesday, however, expressed reservations on the proposed new rates.
Under the seven-page proposed ordinance, it stated that the increase and the imposition of the new rates are needed considering that the current rates no longer reflect the prevailing costs of hospital services.
“The current rates have been pegged over a decade ago,” said Cuenco.
The new rates must also be in place to cover the maintenance costs of all the hospital equipment.
Cuenco, chairperson of the council’s committee on hospital services, said there is a need to charge for all the services offered by CCMC so the City Government can also properly bill the Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (Philhealth).
Under the proposed measure, the new billed services of CCMC include P200 for the use of ambulance, P50 for use of alcohol, P30 for syringes, P3 for 10 pieces of cotton balls, P5 for hot water bag or ice cap, P30 for sterilized scissors, among others.
Hospital services whose fees have been increased include electrical charges from P10 to P25 per day, issuance of certificate of live birth from P20 to P30, medico-legal report from P20 to P50, certificate of delayed registration from P20 to P50, medical certificate from P20 to P30 and certificate of confinement from P20 to P30.
It also included the ultrasound for breast, pelvis and thyroid, which rate has been doubled from P300 to P600.
The city hospital is also planning to increase fees for dental services that include tooth extraction from P45 to P150, dental x-ray from P80 to P150, surgical removal of impacted teeth from P250 to P550, oral prophylaxis from P120 to P150, surgery on cysts from P130 to P250, and root canal therapy from P550 to P850, among others.
Other increases include, among others, room or ward rates, eye services, organ imaging and other diagnostic services.
During the public hearing last week, Councilor Augustus Pe Jr. said the new rates for hospital services should not be imposed and be paid by the CCMC patients.
Pe said that most of the patients of the City-owned facility are poor.
However, if the billing of all the hospital services will only be used so the City can properly bill Philhealth, Pe said, then, it would be okay.
Pe’s pronouncement was echoed by Councilor Noel Wenceslao.
“Those who go to CCMC are the poorest of the poor, di kapalit og tambal, way ikaplite. Unya mosamot pa ang problem kay pabayran na tanan (they cannot afford to buy medicines or pay for their fare. Their problem will get worse if they will be made to pay everything),” he said.
The Cebu City Federation of Persons with Disabilities also made the same sentiment.
But Danny Omayan, who heads the group, clarified that they are not against the measure since it will help improve the services of CCMC.
The group is asking the City to give them a subsidy when any of their members would be hospitalized, saying that most of them are unemployed.
Cuenco said that all observations and comments on his proposed measure will be considered before he will file it for final deliberation before the council.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on October 21, 2012.