Institutionalizing Champ

AN ORDINANCE pending in the law and health committees seeks to institutionalize the Cebu City Hospitalization Assistance and Medicines Program (Champ).

City Councilor Jerry Guardo, its author, has specified programs covered by Champ that permanent city residents can avail themselves of.

These include the Medicines Assistance for Out-Patients, Hospitalization Assistance Program (HAP), Philhealth Insurance for Indigents, Health Insurance Programs for Officials (Hipo) and laboratory and diagnostic procedures, among others.

The ordinance also includes penal provisions, necessary fund allocation and anti-rabies and cervical cancer prevention programs.

If approved, the Department of Social Welfare and Services (DSWS) will set aside a budget of P150 million to implements the programs.

Residents will then be able to avail themselves of P25,000 medical assistance for hospitalization, P5,000 for medicines and another P5,000 for laboratory procedures.

As long as they show proof they reside in the city and provide a medical prescription and certificate of eligibility issued by the DSWS, they can avail themselves of the programs in government hospitals like the Cebu City Medical Center, Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center and other hospitals accredited by HAP.

According to the ordinance, the mayor is authorized to enter into an agreement with any private hospitals, pharmacies and other medical institutions.

A penalty awaits those who will commit any falsification, collusion or fraud for the purpose of securing benefits under the ordinance. Those who will commit any of those mentioned violations will be imposed a penalty of imprisonment for a period not exceeding six months or a fine not exceeding P2,500, or both.

However, the benefits cannot be applied to those who have self-inflicted injuries, those who are drunk, those who are under the influence of illegal drugs and to cosmetic surgery or treatment.

Guardo said that it is the duty of the government to provide basic social services to its people.

“Cebu City recognizes the contributions of all residents to the spiral growth of our local economy and therefore, all of them deserve the same utmost attention, privileges and support from the City Government in times of illness, sickness with emphasis on the young, old and especially the underprivileged,” Guardo said.

This ordinance is in line with the plan of Mayor Edgardo Labella to make Champ accessible 24 hours a day and seven days a week.

As of January this year, no fewer than 19,000 patients who were admitted in various public and private hospitals in Cebu City benefited from services under Champ. (JJL)


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