President Rodrigo Duterte on Friday signed Republic Act No. 10932 or the Strengthened Anti-Hospital Deposit Law authored by Akbayan Senator Risa Hontiveros.
In a statement, Hontiveros said that the measure will end the despicable practice of abusive hospitals that demand any deposit or other forms of advance payment as a pre-requisite for admission or medical treatment of an emergency patient.
"Mas mahalaga ang pera kaysa kita. Dahil sa batas na ito, wala ng mahirap na itataboy ng mga abusadong hospital. Wala ng mahirap na magmamakaawa para sa medikal na kalinga," Hontiveros said.
Under the new law, stricter penalties would be served to hospitals who would refuse treatment of emergency case patients because of a lack of money. Penalties now include imprisonment of up to four to six years for hospitals who demand any deposit or other forms of advance payment as a pre-requisite for admission or medical treatment of an emergency patient.
Fines have also been increased to reflect the strengthening of the regulation. Hospitals that refuse to provide emergency patients with basic care face penalties ranging from Php100,000 to Php1,000,000. It also gives authority to the Department of Health (DoH) to revoke the license of a health facility after three repeated violations committed pursuant to an established policy of the hospital or clinic or upon the instruction of its management.
"It is the duty of the State to provide adequate health care to its citizens. This law is a reflection of this duty and of our continued commitment to improve and provide sufficient health care to the sectors of society that need it the most. People who need emergency medical care can now be assured of stronger rights under the law," Hontiveros said.
"I thank my fellow senators for supporting this law and the Executive branch for signing the measure before the expiry of the 30-day period given under the Constitution when the bill would have lapsed into law," Hontiveros added.
Senator Hontiveros serves as the Vice-Chairperson of the Senate Committee on Health, and is the current Chairperson of the Committee on Women, Gender Equality and Family Relations.
Source: Senate of the Philippines