CAPITOL officials sat down with barangay officials of Balamban during a consultative meeting at the Mayor E.S. Binghay Memorial Cultural Center in the midwestern town.

They discussed, among other things, the use of ambulance, medicines and hospitals fees.

Yesterday’s meeting, headed by Vice Gov. Agnes Magpale, who was accompanied by Provincial Board members and department heads, was the third conducted by the Provincial Government to hear the concerns of a town, its barangays and its constituents.

Municipal Councilor Primo Paulin brought up the plight of 78-year-old Ranulfo Gabito. The Balamban Provincial Hospital won’t discharge him allegedly because of an unpaid P16,000-bill.

Paulin brought a piece of paper indicating the amount with no breakdown.

Belen, Gabito’s daughter, explained what happened to her father.

No fee for indigents

“We told them we would sign a promissory note, but they refused,” she said in Cebuano.

Some 16 provincial and district hospitals in the Province are run by the Capitol, including BPH.

The vice governor explained that under the Point of Care Enrolment Program of the Philhealth Insurance Corp., indigent patients who are confined in public hospitals don’t need to pay any amount.

“You will not be paying even a single centavo. You just need to process the necessary papers,” Magpale said.

Provincial Health Officer Cynthia Genosolango said a senior citizen’s card and a Philhealth card are needed so the patient can avail himself of the program.

As to the non-availability of medicines, Dr. Olivia Dandan, chief-of-hospital of BPH, said the patient can give them his or her prescription and they will buy the medicines using the budget for that purpose, especially if it’s an emergency.

Baliwagan Barangay Captain Virginia Cuyos asked Capitol if a patient can use an ambulance for free.


Genosolango, though, said the Revenue Code of Cebu states that hospitals are mandated to collect fees for ambulance use.

“But if the patient cannot pay the amount, we will not let them pay,” she said.

PB Member Grecilda Sanchez assured barangay officials they will find a way to come up with a budget for the ambulance’s fuel.

Magpale told Genosolango to inform the hospital staff to thoroughly explain to the patients what they need to do so they can be assisted.

“There is no room for arrogance even in paying hospitals labi na gyud sa gobyerno (especially in the government),” she said.