INDIGENT parents with children six years old and below will get free medical care from provincial and district hospitals.

During its out-of-town session in Samboan yesterday, the Provincial Board (PB) approved on mass motion an ordinance mandating provincial and district hospitals to provide free medical care to qualified children.

PB Member Celestino Martinez III, sponsor of the ordinance, said the ordinance will encourage more indigent parents especially in rural areas to submit their children to a regular check-up.

The ordinance said the barangay should issue a certificate that proves that parents of the child are indigent, while the municipal and city social welfare development office are tasked to verify the certificate issued by the barangay.

The hospitals under the Provincial Government should provide medical care without asking for any deposit from the parents.

Once the parents comply with the requirements, their children can avail themselves of free medical services, including hospitalization or in-patient services; professional care services; diagnostics, laboratory and other medical examination; use of operating or surgical rooms and other medical equipment and facilities; prescription drugs that are available in the hospital or in-house pharmacy; and other forms of medical attention.

No bills

The ordinance highlighted that the patients should not be billed for “any other medical, incidental or miscellaneous expenses.”

The use of ambulance donated by the Province will also be free of any charges in transporting patients to and from the provincial, district and private hospitals.

The medical staff may face sanctions if they commit prohibited acts, including denying the patient of free medical care and attention, requiring or asking for an amount as deposit for admission, referring the patient to other or private hospital even if they can still accommodate the beneficiary, and referring to a private or other pharmacies the patient despite availability of medicines.

Aside from these, it is also prohibited to require beneficiaries and their families to give professional fees to the attending doctor, let the parents pay for other fees, and ask the parents to pay for the use of the ambulance.

Violators will face a suspension of six months without pay if proven guilty.

Source

Martinez said the funds for the program will be taken from the annual budget for the operation of all provincial hospitals.

He said the Province has an existing Point of Care Program.