MANILA -- An official from the Department of Health denied there are talks to privatize the Dr Jose Fabella Memorial Hospital, after patients expressed fear of higher fees once the public-private partnership pushes through.
"Hindi po totoo yan. In fact, ang plano po dyan e i-modernize, pagandahin, palawakin. Gagamitin namin yung lupa namin sa San Lazaro compound. Hindi totoo yung magiging mahal," DOH Usec Ted Herbosa said.
According to Herbosa, they have been planning the modernization since 2011 because of the hospital's dilapidated condition.
He said while there is budget for this, several processes have hindered its implementation.
Rosalyn, a housewife, said she prefers to give birth at Fabella. She had given birth to four children at the hospital so far.
"Gusto ko po dito manganak e. Kalahati lang (singil nila) ... P2,000," she said.
Meanwhile, Annie, also a plain housewife, said, "Dito lang po yung tinatakbuhan ng mahihirap."
"Patients are being billed. They are being classified but then it does not necessarily follow that the around you are billed will be the amount that the patients will pay," Dr Jeffrey Leonardo, chief of medical professional staff at Fabella said. - with a report from Bandila