As hospital bills rise, folks turn to PhilHealth-A A +A
Saturday, August 27, 2011
CITY OF SAN FERNANDO -- It would cost thousands of pesos for a dengue patient to fully recover.
For one, confining a dengue victim to a hospital for several days or even weeks is necessary. In some cases that the patient needs blood transfusion, hospital bills and treatment expenses soar higher.
Lucky enough if the patient has an immediate relative that matches his blood type, but if not, they would need to buy blood in bags.
Health officials said one blood bag costs around P1,500 at the maximum, a price a minimum wage earner would decry as expensive.
So, Kapampangan parents whose children are affected by the mosquito-borne disease have turned to their PhilHealth (Philippine Health Insurance Corporation) cards for instant assistance.
Apalit native Ernesto Cano, 50, never failed to use his PhilHealth card handed out by Mayor Oscar Tetangco Jr. whenever he needs to get medicine or pay medical tests for his 11-year old son Russel.
Russel was confined at the Jose B. Lingad Memorial Regional Hospital
(JBLMRH) and was believed to have acquired dengue in school. He was one of the more than a hundred dengue patients treated at the regional hospital.
“I work as a welder and earn just enough for the basic needs of the family. When my son got dengue and sent him to the hospital, I didn’t know how I could afford the hospital expenses,” Cano said.
“Later I realized, my PhilHealth card could possibly provide us instant financial assistance,” he added.
True enough, a PhilHealth card would not just provide financial assistance, because it could possibly pay for all hospital expenses.
Dr. Venancio Banzon, director of the JBLMRH, said PhilHealth cardholders could possibly save folks from shelling out huge amounts of money for hospital fees.
“If they will spend money while their children are being treated, this
would probably be just a little amount for some laboratory tests,” Banzon said.
Like Cano, Lorita Acupiado, 41, also brought her PhilHealth card with high hopes that hospitalization fees of her 10-year-old son will be reduced.
Gener De Guzman, 42, a farmer from Arayat town, said his PhilHealth card has helped his family maintain good health.
“Since I got my PhilHealth card, my family’s health has been well taken
care of,” De Guzman said.
JBLMRH Chief Banzon encouraged every Kapampangan and other families from Central Luzon to avail of a PhilHealth card.
PhilHealth President Dr. Rey Aquino, a Kapampangan, has been working hard to reach the goal of President Benigno Aquino III to enroll 99 percent of Filipinos under PhilHealth’s health care program.
A head of a family may apply for PhilHealth membership and pay a contribution of P100 per month.
Published in the Sun.Star Pampanga newspaper on August 28, 2011.