Underperforming medical facility

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By Benjie R. Pangan

At Close Range

Sunday, January 5, 2014

THE Mabalacat District Hospital at Barangay Camachiles is a government hospital. More specifically, it a Provincial Government-run hospital, fully subsidized by the Provincial Government. It should be a hospital of the people of Mabalacat City but distressed individuals are also admitted.

Various medical cards with medical privileges are supposed to be accepted.

My impression has changed in the last visit I had last week via admission of a son who suffers from chronic hypertension and high blood cholesterol.


The wife made the arrangements through her PhilHealth privileges but after a week of confinement, no treatment has ever been applied on the son except the ubiquitous IV. And then the admission by the attending physician that the patient had to be transferred because they (the hospital staff) cannot handle the case.

I was shocked of course but I had to abide by the physician's recommendation: that the son would have to be transferred to a facility where there is a pedia cardiologist. So I thought of transferring him to Garcia Medical Center where I hope the patient would be in good hands.

Before the discharge, the clearance and the payment of the bill. The billing nurse suggested that the wife's PhilHealth card would be a better use at Garcia's. We nodded in agreement just so to resolve the issue. And the bill: a whopping P6,000 plus! For four days and short supply. My, o my, I protested silently. The comfort rooms are not even in top form.

The air-conditioning unit needs maintenance and the bedsheet was so flimsy. I have a nagging suspicion that the hospital is edging towards commer-cilization and would compete with private hospitals in charging patients (P700 for a private room, for example).

Over at the Garcia Medical Center, a deposit of P5,000 is foisted on relatives of patients. For ICU cases, it is a staggering P20,000 or else no admission. What happened to the law forbidding hospitals from refusing patients who cannot make the deposit? Other private hospitals hide behind a foundation but still they charge higher. One does not die of illness, it is the bills that write them off.

Ah, but you have to abide by the laws of the hospitals to keep your health and sanity.


The Feast of the Three Kings or Epiphany officially ends the joyous season so back to serious work. But wait, in Mabalacat City, February is a festive month starting with the town fiesta embellished with the traditional Mr. and Ms. Mabalacat. Jun Magbalot oversees the activities.


On January 25, 2014, Staffhouse International Resources will conduct a Special Recruitment Activity (SRA) for jobs in New Zealand. Carpenters, painters and tilers are needed.

Published in the Sun.Star Pampanga newspaper on January 06, 2014.


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