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RBS

Philippines Hospital Experience - 1 of 2 Parts

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RBS

Last year I was unfortunately involved in a motorcycle crash while touring Mindanao, one of my favourite islands in the Philippines. Here is my report on my experiences with the Philippines health system.

 

The crash occurred a few hours ride north along the coast from Cotabato City in a small (mainly Muslim) village. I was travelling at about 40kph when a dog ran out in front of me that I hit. I high-sided and landed on my back/right shoulder. Wearing full protective gear, no skin was broken but I was in a lot of pain.

 

The villagers were the kindest of people to me. Their Kapitan was quickly on the scene and took control. He arranged for my damaged bike to be secured and looked after and somehow managed to get an van to take me to the nearest "hospital" about 30 minutes away. The Kapitan came with me.

 

The local "hospital" was more like just a first-aid station. The nurse/doctor (not sure if he was a real doctor) immediately decided that I might have some internal injuries and would need to be transferred to a hospital in Cotabato City. The local "ambulance" (read FX van with the seats removed and stretcher installed with oxygen bottle and small first-aid kit) then took me with the Kapitan on the 2-hour drive to Cotabato District Hospital (CDH). Ambulance fee was P2,000 paid in advance.

 

At CDH I was X-rayed (P1,200) and it was diagnosed as having some broken ribs and a cracked right shoulder blade. I need further medical observation to monitor for any possible soft-tissue internal injuries. With no beds available in CDH, I was transferred by the same ambulance (for free) across the road to Notre Dame Hospital (NDH). My village Kapitan was still with me. NDH required P10,000 deposit before they would admit me. Luckily I had a bit over P30k on my at the crash, so I was able to meet these Immediate expenses. I later was informed that without the cash, I would not have been treated/admitted.

 

That evening in NDH, I suggested to the village Kapitan that maybe he should return to his village and family, His response was that it was to dangerous to travel by bus at night along the highway and that he would return home tomorrow. I felt good with that decision as I certainly needed his assistance and friendly support. The Kapitan stayed over-night in my hospital room on a second bed that (for reasons I would discover later) as already in my room.

 

My room in NDH was a private room with hospital bed, second bed, en suite CR, fan (no air-con), small TV and locker. Cost was P2,400 per day. The following morning after my first night in NDH, I was seen by a doctor and hospital administrator. I gave them my insurance detail, but it was explained to me that it was my responsibility to arrange with my insurer for payment to the hospital. I was also asked if I had an assistant. "What for?" I asked. It was then explained to me that hospital nursing staff in the Philippines only do actual medical work. I would need an assistant to bath me, buy my medication, feed me, make my bed and generally look after me.

 

With the Kapitan leaving that day, it was obvious that I was going to need further outside assistance, I contacted a friend I had in Dipolog and asked her if she could travel to Cotabato City. She caught the bus and arrived that evening. I offered to pay the Kapitan for his services. He declined any payment saying "We are Muslim and it is Allah's command that we help those in need without reward." I thanked him and told him that he is not like most "Christian" Filipinos that I had met. He laughed.

 

As a thank you to the Kapitan, I arranged for a basic Nokia cell phone to be bought for him (P2,000). He was delighted and explained that his village was very poor and this would be the first phone they have ever had in their village. He was going to give the phone to all of his villagers

Edited by Admin
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sork

Yes, hospitals could substitute as debtors prisons, except you don't pay for the prison.

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loosehead

Great story mate. Keep it coming. I'm seriously hoping you get to shag a nurse before this yarn is over.

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Paul

Great read, RBS. Thanks for posting it. :o

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fanboat

Tim just told me that it is against the law to hold you in the hospital for non paymment...he said just walk out?

 

 

ps...I ride all the time...hope I don't get in a wreck...nice to here you are still riding.

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