THE Cebu City Council yesterday asked the City Accounting Office to review the P2.2-million hospitalization expenses of the 38 in-patients of the Cebu City Medical Center (CCMC) who were transferred to five private hospitals in the city after a 7.2 magnitude earthquake last Oct. 15.

The legislative body wants to know if the City Government is obliged to pay in full the hospital bills of the patients, considering that the maximum aid that City Hall is supposed to extend under the City Hospitalization and Medicine Program (Champ) is only P25,000 to each indigent patient.

Two committees of the City Council—budget and finance, and health and hospital services—recommended against charging the P2,205,607.52 million on the City’s Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. (Pagcor) funds.

Expenses

In their report, presented during the council’s regular session yesterday, the committees revealed that the amount includes the P54,081.35 expenses of seven patients at the Cebu Velez General Hospital; P1,152,079.18 for 13 patients at Chong Hua Hospital; P142,843.69 for 10 patients at the Adventist Hospital Cebu; P436,617.11 for four patients at Cebu Doctors University Hospital; and P419,986.19 for four patients confined at the Perpetual Succour Hospital.

According to the billing statement that the five hospital bills sent to the City, some patients had payables of up to P200,000.

City Councilor Margarita Osmeña, committee on budget and finance chairperson, asked if the City Hall should pay the entire amount or pay only what is stated in the Champ guidelines.

“We should be prudent on how to treat this,” she said.

Councilor Hanz Abella agreed with Osmeña.

The City Council asked the City Accounting Office to submit a report in 10 days.

Some patients of CCMC had to be transferred to private hospitals because the city hospital’s building was declared unsafe after the Oct. 15 earthquake.

The Cebu City Government is planning to build a new CCMC, which will cost P1 billion.