Palace: No increase in private hospitals' fees

September 25, 2009 9:41 am 

CABATUAN, Iloilo, Sept. 25 — There will be no increase in private hospital fees, after all.

President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo made the announcement here Thursday night following an agreement reached between government authorities and private hospital administrators.

In a regional media interview hosted by John Sapio of the Manila Broadcasting Company (MBC) Aksyon Radyo, President Arroyo said that Health Undersecretary Alex Padilla was able to persuade administrators of private hospitals to forgo their service fee increases.

In return, they will be given discounts and rebates from pharmaceutical companies.

Padilla accompanied President Arroyo here along with Executive Secretary Eduardo Ermita, Press Secretary Cerge Remonde and other members of the Cabinet.

He said that his meetings with the Philippine Hospitals Association (PHA) took place yesterday and the drugstores association last Wednesday.

Private hospitals had warned the public of the increase, saying they need to recoup their losses arising from the implementation of the Cheaper Medicines Law.

Prompted by Tuesday’s action of private hospitals, Health Secretary Francisco Duque III challenged private hospitals to open their financial books to back up their claims.

Last August 15, the government implemented a 50-percent reduction in the prices of selected medicines under the maximum drug retail price (MDRP) system and a 10 to 50 percent price cut on other drugs through the government-mediated access price (GMAP) program. The programs were fully implemented last September 15. (PNA)

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