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DOJ limits hospitalization privilege of inmates

Edu Punay (The Philippine Star) - August 4, 2015 - 10:00am

MANILA, Philippines - The Department of Justice (DOJ) has limited the hospitalization privilege of inmates at national penitentiaries.

Justice Secretary Leila de Lima said yesterday she has ordered the Bureau of Corrections (BuCor), which has administrative control and supervision of the New Bilibid Prison in Muntinlupa City and Correctional Institute for Women (CIW) in Mandaluyong City, not to allow sick inmates to choose their own hospitals if their health condition cannot be treated at the prison hospitals.

Under the new rule, she said sick inmates who need more comprehensive tests, treatment or confinement should be taken to the nearest government hospital.

“Such directive primarily to past incidents of abuse of outside hospitalization privileges,” she said in a text message.

De Lima issued the order after the reported confinement of convicted drug trafficker Yu Yuk Lai at the Metropolitan Hospital in Binondo, Manila for eight months now due to recurring headaches and other physical ailments.

BuCor officials insisted on taking back Yu to the CIW, but her doctors said she needed to undergo more tests.

“My standing order is for her immediate discharge from the hospital,” De Lima stressed.

In May last year, the hospitalization of inmates became controversial after drug convicts Ricardo Camata and Amin Buratong as well as bank robbery gang leader Herbert Colangco were allowed to seek medical treatment outside the NBP.

Buratong was taken to the Medical City for a liver ailment and coronary artery disease while Colangco was brought to the Asian Hospital and Medical Center.

Camata was taken to the Metropolitan Hospital in Manila due to a lung ailment. A starlet was seen on surveillance footage visiting his hospital room.

ASIAN HOSPITAL AND MEDICAL CENTER BUREAU OF CORRECTIONS DE LIMA DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE HERBERT COLANGCO IN MAY JUSTICE SECRETARY LEILA MANDALUYONG CITY MEDICAL CITY METROPOLITAN HOSPITAL MUNTINLUPA CITY AND CORRECTIONAL INSTITUTE
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