DOH refutes actions of Butuan hospital on 10-year-old girl

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Friday, August 15, 2014

SHORT of saying that the actions of the Butuan Doctors Hospital (BDH) were against the law, the Department of Health (DOH) insisted Friday that it should not have turned away 10-year-old Jannari Chan and instead accommodated the girl suffering from congenital heart disease.

In a statement, Health Secretary Enrique Ona said no patient seeking medical help should be turned away by any health facility, regardless if it is government or privately-owned.

"The law states that all cases should be treated and admitted, if necessary, by a hospital," said Ona.

He added that medical assistance should be readily provided especially if the patient's condition is considered an emergency case.

Section 1 of Republic Act 8344 provides that during emergency or serious cases, it shall be unlawful for any hospital or medical clinic to demand or accept any deposit or any other form of advance payment as a prerequisite for confinement or medical treatment of a patient.

Ona's statement comes after the story of "Yanna" created a buzz online when her mother, Tutz, posted the former's story on the latter's Facebook account on how the girl died after the admission staff of the BDH turned her away.

According to Mrs. Chan, her daughter was rejected after they were unable to pay for the P30,000 deposit since their available cash on hand was only around P8,000 to P10,000.

The BDH staff also allegedly declined to consider the girl's situation as an "emergency case", which requires no deposit.

After being turned down, Chan was forced to transport Jannari to a hospital in Davao City, where she died before reaching their destination.

The DOH has already launched an investigation on the said case for possible administrative and regulatory sanctions against the hospital.

And in order to avoid similar cases, Ona reminded the public of the presence of the Medical Assistance Program (MAP) of the DOH, wherein about P3 billion is being allocated to assist indigent patients.

"Every Filipino, regardless of status in life, should have equal access to healthcare. This is the essence of Kalusugan Pangkalahatan," said Ona.

MAP is available to all DOH hospitals, such as the Philippine Heart Center, as well as local government unit (LGU) hospitals like Quezon City General Hospital, Sampaloc District Hospital, and San Juan Medical Center. (HDT/Sunnex)

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