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johnormoc

PCSO - Medical Help For Poor Familes

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johnormoc

Last week, the infant son of my wife's cousin came down with pneumonia. They live down in Baybay, Leyte and the hospital there the family went to (don't know which one) was a death trap. The doctors said they needed a chest x-ray to determine if the child had bacterial or viral pneumonia before they could begin treatment. Much to our dismay, they said it would take a week to get the x-ray that was taken in their hospital sent to Ormoc, developed and sent back to Baybay. The child was deteriorating and could barely breath but the only thing the hospital was doing was giving the child oxygen and a dextrose IV.

 

We made the decision to take the kid to the private Gatchalian Hospital in Ormoc. This saved the kid's life as the hospital there had no problems with the x-ray and was was immediately able to determine the cause of the problem was bacterial and antibiotic treatment was given. The doctor told me that if we had delayed another day, the kid would have died. The Baybay hospital would have waited another 5 days for the x-ray.

 

The total cost of everything was approximately P46,000. The family is poor but had the indigenous Phil Health coverage but this was maxed out at P15,000 for pneumonia still leaving us a bill for P31,000. I was ok paying this as a child's life was saved but we learned from another lady in the hospital who's daughter also had pneumonia that the Philippines Charity Sweepstakes Office, the same folks who operate the lotteries, give financial assistance to poor families for medical matters. We decided to give it a shot and see what would happen. We procured all of the paperwork required by PCSO, had the parents fill everything out and went to the PCSO office in Tacloban. There is no PCSO office in Ormoc unfortunately.

 

The papers required included:

 

A Request Letter for Financial Assistance to PCSO

All pharmacy receipts for medicines

All receipts from the hospital

A clinical abstract from the doctor with the doctor's license number (basically a summary of the treatment)

A 1X1 photo of the mother (or person filing for assistance) and a 1X1 photo of the patient

An Acceptance letter from Hospital Social Services (parents are interviewed by the hospital counselor to determine their financial status and inability to pay for treatment)

 

We headed out early and made the lovely drive to Tacloban. We had no problem finding the PCSO office after asking a trike driver where it was. The parents went in with all of the paperwork while my wife and I stayed out of sight. We were told that there is no way they'd ever reimburse a foreigner nor would they assist any family that looked like they had money. We made sure the Mom left all her jewelry at home and wore her worst jungle clothes with no make up. ha ha. To make a long story short, the PCSO processed all of the paperwork and granted the mother P14,000 to assist with the payment. The money is paid directly to the treating hospital. Not enough to cover the entire bill but it sure helped. It dropped the final amount my wife and I had to pay down to P17,000.

 

We found out that the PCSO pays millions of pesos every month to help poor families pay their medical bills and the process didn't seem that difficult. The money was given out the same day. I believe everyone should know about this system; especially foreigners who like me, often get requests from family members to help pay medical bills. My wife and I have already informed all of her kin to go through this procedure for any future medical problems. There are PCSO offices in all major cities throughout the Philippines. I hope this post can help folks save some pesos the next time someone in your extended family needs to visit a hospital.

 

One last thing....I strongly advise anyone reading this board to have any poor family members register for the Phil Health program for indigenous (I.E. poor) people. It is free and usually done through the local barangay office. We have had everyone in my wfie's family sign up for this since I found out about it. Between Phil Health and the PCSO, I avoided paying an extra P29,000. Every little bit helps.

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Ricbak

Excellent advice John and its great that you acted to save this child,

 

the only observation I would make is why would the original hospital wait 5 days rather than treat the poor kid with a presumption he had bacterial pneumonia?

 

Ricbak

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johnormoc

Excellent advice John and its great that you acted to save this child,

 

the only observation I would make is why would the original hospital wait 5 days rather than treat the poor kid with a presumption he had bacterial pneumonia?

 

Ricbak

 

Honestly we have no idea. I wasn't with my wife at the time in Baybay and she couldn't get a direct answer from the doctor. I can only assume that they were hesitant to give the baby the wrong type of meds not knowing which type of pneumonia it was. In my opinion this was negligence on their part as neither the antibiotics nor the virul treatments would have hurt the child if not needed. With the child being so close to death, they should have given the kid both treatments just to be safe. NOT giving the child any medication nearly killed him. Most likely (I'm guessing here) they elected not to do this because they assumed the poor parents couldn't afford both knowing there was a 15K cap with Phil Health for pneumonia and they wanted to be sure of which one it was and treat only that one to keep the cost down under the cap. Whatever the reason, I'll never go to this hospital for anything. My wife told me while she was there, a very very pregnant woman who was in labor was turned away by the emergency room because she had no money or Phil Health. The nurses told her to come back when she could make a down payment.

 

The hospitals in the Phils (at least in Leyte) border on being inhumane. I'm wondering if they are even required to take the Hippocratic Oath because they sure are lacking in ethics and decency (not to mention competence).

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