By Venus H. Sarmiento, One Luzon E-News Magazine
DAGUPAN CITY – The renaming of “Charity Ward” in public hospitals to “PhilHealth Ward” is just a change in name, PhilHealth said.
Daniel de Leon, PhilHealth regional vice president, clarified in a press conference on Friday that no substantive change is going to happen. The implication is that poor population will now be part of PhiliHealth and if they get sick, PhilHealth is going to pay for their confinement expenses.
“It’s basically just a change in nomenclature. Kasi kung charity ward ang tawag (Because if it is called charity ward), the poor population are treated as charity patients while in fact, they are no longer charity patients because the government is paying their contributions for PhilHealth,” de Leon said.
However, de Leon is aware that not all poor or indigents are members of PhilHealth. “We are still in the process of integrating them into the system,” he said.
While integration is being processed, there is no reason for hospitals not to accept indigent patients who are nonmembers of PhilHealth in the so-called PhilHealth ward.
De Leon said the move is in line with President Aquino’s goal to provide universal health care for all Filipinos by implementing the highest possible good for the highest possible number.
“Ang pagkalinga sa maysakit is a government concern. Uunahin natin ang obligasyon sa ating bayan (Taking care of the sick is a government concern. We will prioritize our obligation to the nation),” he said.#