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PSWDO requested to also allot budget for district hospitals

Michael Vencynth H. Braga/NSA (The Freeman) - November 18, 2015 - 9:00am

CEBU, Philippines - The Cebu Provincial Board committee on budget and appropriation has suggested that some of the budget of the Provincial Social Welfare and Development Office, which are intended for assistance to indigent patients, be given to the province-run hospitals.

Board Member Grecilda Sanchez, chairperson of the budget and appropriation committee, also asked the PSWDO during a budget hearing yesterday to set up a helpdesk in every district and provincial hospital which would operate 24 hours every day.

She explained that the resource would be tasked to assist patients or their families who could hardly pay for hospital bills and medicines.

The financial assistance would be sourced from the P20-million allocation for PSWDO’s “assistance to individuals in crisis situation (AICS).” It was included in the proposed 2016 spending plan of PSWDO totaling to P104 million.

Sanchez‘s suggestion came on the heels of the incident at the Minglanilla District Hospital where a one-year-old child died due to severe dehydration. It was reported that medicines were not immediately administered to the child because the family lacked money to purchase them, with only P200 left in their pocket while the medicines cost P700.

The controversy led to the dismissal of a doctor who was found by the Provincial Health Office (PHO) to have committed lapse in judgment when she “automatically” made a prescription and asked the child’s family to buy the prescribed medicines, when these were available at the hospital’s pharmacy.

Sanchez also made the suggestion after learning that PSWDO is proposing an increase of its AICS from P13 million in the current year to P20 million for 2016.

She noted that the bulk of the PSWDO’s AICS was utilized for patients from the towns in the province who were referred to Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center and walk-in beneficiaries.

She said the budget might as well be used to the province-run hospitals.

PSWDO head Rose Sosa said she welcomed the suggestion but has yet to confer with the PHO, considering that the PHO also has AICS program.

The services of AICS personnel, however, are only available during office hours. Sanchez said the PSWDO should also put up a helpdesk that operates 24 hours since some emergency cases happened at night.

Sosa added that they would also discuss the crafting of stricter guidelines on shelling out assistance.

“Based on the history man gud, ang assistance di hinuon magahin sa tambal,” she told reporters after the budget hearing. —  (FREEMAN)

ACIRC BOARD MEMBER GRECILDA SANCHEZ BUDGET CEBU PROVINCIAL BOARD MINGLANILLA DISTRICT HOSPITAL PROVINCIAL HEALTH OFFICE PROVINCIAL SOCIAL WELFARE AND DEVELOPMENT OFFICE PSWDO SANCHEZ SOSA VICENTE SOTTO MEMORIAL MEDICAL CENTER
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