Why demanding a hospital deposit is illegal

Posted at 08/13/2014 7:14 PM | Updated as of 08/13/2014 9:57 PM

MANILA - Akbayan party-list group chairperson Risa Hontiveros slammed a hospital in Butuan City that allegedly rejected a dying 10-year-old girl.

In a statement, Hontiveros said if the allegation is true, Butuan Doctors Hospital may have violated the law when it rejected the dying girl, 10-year-old Jannary ''Yanna'' Chan, last July 15.

''The law is clear on the matter. It clearly says that hospitals and medical clinics can be penalized for refusing to administer appropriate initial medical treatment and support in emergency or serious cases,'' she said.

''In emergency or serious cases, it shall be unlawful for any hospital and medical facility to demand any deposit or any other form of advance payment, as a prerequisite for admission or medical treatment of a patient or to refuse to administer medical treatment and support as dictated by good practice of medicine to prevent death or serious harm."

Tutz Salarda-Chan, in a Facebook post, said her daughter, who has a congenital heart disease, was confined at the San Francisco Doctors Hospital two days before the incident.

But because of an emergency, she decided to transfer her daughter to the Butuan Doctors Hospital, believing it is better equipped.

Salarda-Chan said they traveled for more than an hour to reach the hospital, only to be rejected because she only had around P10,000 on hand. The hospital was allegedly demanding a P30,000 deposit.

She said the woman manning the admission desk demanded the money.

Salarda-Chan said the woman at the front desk told her that her daughter's situation is not an emergency.

ABS-CBN News Caraga called the hospital on Tuesday to get a statement regarding the incident.

However, the hospital staff who answered the phone refused to comment and referred the news team instead to the hospital's Patient Affairs Department.

ABS-CBN News later went to the hospital to get the hospital officials' side, but the security guard prevented the team from entering the facility.

Ten-year-old Yanna died on July 16, 2014 due to congestive heart failure.

Hontiveros said Akbayan will coordinate with the Department of Health (DOH) for an investigation on the matter.

''We will coordinate with all relevant health agencies so that an immediate investigation of the matter can be conducted with the end view of rendering justice to the victim’s family. I will also talk to our partylist representatives in Congress to help in investigating the matter and in providing appropriate legislative measures to prevent future incidents from happening,” Hontiveros said.

''It is not enough that this hospital is penalized. Hospitals like this have no business providing treatment and care for individuals. The government must make an example of private medical establishments who believe profits are more important than the lives of the people."