Indigent folks avail free PhilHealth

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Saturday, February 22, 2014

INDIGENT patients without health insurance coverage are now automatically enrolled with the Philippine Health Insurance (PhilHealth) through the point-of-care system that is now available at the J.R. Borja Memorial Hospital (JRBMH) in Barangay Carmen.

Dr. Ramon Nery, executive officer of JRBMH, said around one-third of their patients in the hospital belong to the lower-income families.

Nery said through the point-of-care system the city’s poor residents would enjoy the benefits of PhilHealth upon admission.


Delia Cuerquis, medical social worker, told Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro that there is an increasing number of poverty-stricken patients who are admitted in the hospital on daily basis, around 10 to 15 patients.

Cuerquis said patients who fall under the brackets C3 and D, the classifications for their social status, are automatically enrolled in the PhilHealth upon admission.

She added that C3 patients are those whose income is below P2,000 a month.

During the launching of the point-of-care system at the JRBMH, Antonio Sacapilo, an indigent whose daughter is confined for dengue fever, was the first registrant of the point-of-care system.

He is thankful that despite the nonrenewal of his PhilHealth insurance coverage he can still avail of free health care.

Dr. Charles Marquez, emergency doctor at the JRBMH, said every day the hospital caters around 40 to 50 new patients, excluding patients that need minor surgeries and laboring women.

He added that since the hospital is one of the few government hospitals in the region, normally it is the place the poor can rely on for health care.

Marquez said for the past three years the Northern Mindanao Medical Center (NMMC) has always been congested.

“For the past three years 140% ang occupancy rate sa NMMC—100 beds, 140 ang gina-serbisyohan. Nilampas sa capacity sa hospital,” said Marquez.

But for JRBMH, the occupancy rate according to Marquez has increased to 100 percent or more.


On February 21, the point-of-care system for JRBMH was launched.

Dr. Maria Lourdes Gaane, City health insurance officer, said the point-of-care is one of the programs of PhilHealth.

Gaane said all the government hospitals or Department of Health (DOH)-retained hospitals like the JBRMH are mandated by law to insure the patients classified as D or C3.

She added the primary member of the family like the father is enrolled in PhilHealth through an online portal.

Gaane said the coverage will end at the end of the year, and has to be renewed for the following year.

“The JR Borja hospital will pay for the health insurance and it is funded by the city government under the Moreno administration. The payment is still P2,400 per year;”

After a year, the DSWD would reevaluate if the indigent remains under the D or C3 category.

After checking, she said it would be submitted to the National Housing Targeting System from the national government.

Gaane said the renewal of the members for the following year will be shouldered by the national government if proven to fall under the categories mentioned.

City Mayor Oscar Moreno, who was present during the launching, checked and surveyed some parts of the hospital.

Moreno checked on the system while observing the first registrant.

Published in the Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro newspaper on February 22, 2014.

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