Senator Risa Hontiveros INQUIRER FILE PHOTO / RICHARD A. REYES
Senator Risa Hontiveros on Friday welcomed President Duterte’s signing of the bill she authored raising penalties for hospitals refusing to treat patients in emergency cases who are unable to pay the deposits.
“I thank my fellow senators for supporting this law and the Executive branch for signing the measure before the expiry of the 30-day period given under the Constitution when the bill would have lapsed into law,” Hontiveros said in a statement.
“Mas mahalaga ang pera kaysa kita. Dahil sa batas na ito, wala ng mahirap na itataboy ng mga abusadong hospital. Wala ng mahirap na magmamakaawa para sa medikal na kalinga,” Hontiveros said.
The minority senator is the vice chairperson of the Senate committee on health.
The neophyte senator said the measure will end the “despicable practice of abusive hospitals that demand any deposit or other forms of advance payment as a pre-requisite for admission or medical treatment of an emergency patient.”
Earlier, President Rodrigo Duterte signed into law the Republic Act. No. 10932 or “An Act Strengthening the Anti-Hospital Deposit Law.
READ: Duterte hikes penalties vs abusive hospitals
The law amended Batas Pambansa Bilang 702, also known as “An Act Prohibiting the Demand of Deposits or Advance Payments for the Confinement or Treatment of Patients in Hospitals and Medical Clinics in Certain Cases.”
The law stated that “any official, medical practitioner or employee of a hospital or medical clinic who violates the provision of this act shall, upon conviction by final judgment, be punished by imprisonment of not less than six months and one day but not more than two years and four months, or a fine of not less than P100,000, but not more than P300,000.00 or both at the discretion of the court.”
Under the new law, stricter penalties would be served to hospitals who would refuse treatment of emergency case patients because of a lack of money. Penalties now include imprisonment of up to four to six years for hospitals who demand any deposit or other forms of advance payment as a pre-requisite for admission or medical treatment of an emergency patient.
Fines have also been increased to reflect the strengthening of the regulation. Hospitals that refuse to provide emergency patients with basic care face penalties ranging from P100,000 to P1 million. It also gives authority to the Department of Health (DOH) to revoke the license of a health facility after three repeated violations committed pursuant to an established policy of the hospital or clinic or upon the instruction of its management.
“It is the duty of the State to provide adequate health care to its citizens. This law is a reflection of this duty and of our continued commitment to improve and provide sufficient health care to the sectors of society that need it the most. People who need emergency medical care can now be assured of stronger rights under the law,” Hontiveros said.
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