ILOILO -- The rural heath unit in San Miguel applied for accreditation from the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth) almost a year ago yet until now it is still unapproved.
The problem was believed to be among the factors contributing to the congestion of Aleosan District Hospital in Alimodian, town of Iloilo, since cases which could have been handled by the rural health unit were referred to the hospital.
Giving birth in the town’s health center costs P1,000 during the day or P2,000 at night. But once accredited by PhilHealth, there would be no need for this out-of-pocket expense, according to Midwife II Anastasia Gatin.
Some village health workers informed the chief executive during the open forum that most pregnant women preferred giving birth in district hospital because it's free unlike in their birthing center.
Maternal neonatal child health and nutrition coordinator Susana Carumba of Hospital Management Office said pregnant women who were classified as high risk like first or fifth pregnancy and those with health complications have to be brought to the nearest hospital, while those who were not, may give birth in the town’s birthing center.
If strictly enforced, Carumba said this health referral system protocol in approved by Governor Arthur Defensor Sr. could help decongest the patient’s influx in province-run hospitals.
Carumba also discouraged pregnant women to give birth at home with unlicensed midwife because it would be risky for both the mother and child.
She added rural health centers in geographically isolated and disadvantaged areas are now capable of providing prenatal services from the 1st and 3rd trimester of pregnancy with the help of Korea International Cooperation Agency (Koica).
The delay in the application reached the attention of San Miguel Mayor Marina Luz Gorriceta.
“I have instructed the concerned personnel already. They have until December to complete the requirements,” the mayor said.
Municipal Planning and Development Coordinator Engineer Heidi Beduyas, meanwhile, thanked Koica and Provincial Population Officer Ramon Yee for providing them the maternal and child health services profile of San Miguel.
The service profile, containing recent and reliable data on demographics, economics, education and environment, could guide them in planning and implementing programs responsive to the need of the residents, she said.
Senator Defensor assigned the Iloilo Provincial Population Office the task of data gathering to establish benchmark information of maternal, newborn, child health and nutrition services in the Interlocal Health Zones of Aleosan District Hospital, Jesus Colmenares District Hospital (Balasan) and Calinog District Hospital through Executive Order 198. (Jezza Nepomoceno)