Private hospitals allowed to use Philhealth income for repair of facilities damaged by 'Ondoy'

October 3, 2009 4:35 pm 

MANILA, Oct. 3 — The Department of Health (DOH) will allow private hospitals damaged by typhoon “Ondoy” to use their three-month worth of income from collections of Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (Philhealth) for the repair their facilities and equipment.

“Let us wait for the technical evaluation to be conducted by the DoH on their damaged facilities. If these facilities and equipment cannot be repaired, the DoH will decide if it can intervene in their importation of new machineries,” said Health Secretary Francisco Duque III.

Duque admitted many government hospitals suffered heavy damages from “Ondoy”, citing the medical center in Marikina and San Lazaro Hospital in Manila.

Duque said prices of basic medicines and medical supplies had remained stable since the Cheaper Medicines Act was implemented on Aug. 15, 2009.

“Under pain of heavier penalties of up to P6 million and even closure or revocation of license, pharmaceutical companies and drugstores are now obeying the price ceilings we have imposed on medicines and medical supplies. They have also been ensuring adequate supplies of these vital items,” he said.

Duque said DOH had fielded several medical teams to treat the sick in evacuation centers. He said common ailments in evacuation centers were skin injuries (particularly fungal infections) because people waded and swam in dirty, muddy water; diarrhea ,and common respiratory ailments. (PNA)

RMA/OPS/rsm

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