MANILA – Malacañang on Monday said the government will be filing charges against hospitals that refused the admission of patients.
Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque made the remark after a woman who just gave birth in Caloocan City died of blood loss after being allegedly refused admission by six hospitals where she was rushed.
Roque said Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra has assigned the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) to look into the woman’s death.
He said hospitals that violate Republic Act No. 10932 or An Act Strengthening the Anti-Hospital Deposit Law may face imprisonment.
“Ang mga parusa po sa violation ng Anti-Hospital Deposit law, meron po yang kulong (The penalties for the violation of the Anti-Hospital Deposit law includes imprisonment),” he said in a virtual presser.
Under R.A. 10932, any official, medical practitioner, or employee of the hospital or medical clinic who violates the provision of the law will be punished by imprisonment of over six months and one day until two years and four months or a fine ranging from PHP100,000 to PHP300,000, or both.
If such violation was committed pursuant to an established policy of the hospital or clinic or upon the instruction of its management, the director or officer of such hospital or clinic responsible for the formulation and implementation of such policy shall upon conviction by final judgment suffer imprisonment of four to six years or a fine ranging from PHP500,000 to PHP1 million, or both.
Reports showed that Jan Christian Bulatao stated that his wife, Catherine, suffered a complication after giving birth inside their house in Caloocan on Friday (April 24).
He said they had been turned away by six hospitals who told them that they could not accept the patient because they were either fully occupied by coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) patients or there was no available blood for transfusion.
One hospital had also asked them to pay an initial PHP30,000 before admitting his wife, he said.
On April 9, an elderly man from Nueva Ecija also died after he was reportedly denied admission by six hospitals in Cabanatuan City.
President Rodrigo Duterte ordered hospitals to accept all patients, including those suspected of being infected with the Covid-19.
“Lahat na magkasakit (All those who get sick), heart attack, appendicitis, pumutok ang kung anong puputok diyan, pumutok ‘yung utak (ruptured brain), especially government hospital, my order is: must accept admission,” he said in a televised public address on April 13.
Duterte said hospitals that refuse to admit patients may face suspension.
“You fail on that, I will relieve all of you sa (at the) hospital and you can consider yourself suspended because the written order will follow,” he said. (ia/PNA)