Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Decoding the Hospital System in the Philippines

If you’ve been following my blog, you already know that my topics will be related to healthcare because of experience nearly two weeks ago. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at the hospital system in the Philippines.

The hospital system in the Philippines has a love-hate relationship with its people and patients. It doesn’t matter if the hospital is a government or privately owned – people will hate and love the same hospital at the same time. This is the reason why some would prefer one hospital over the other.

Unfortunately, some of us are never given any choice. Because of financial constraints, they are “forced” to use government hospitals.

The Fo(a)rce in Government Hospital

While boarding a taxi, my mother-in-law talked a bit where my wife should go. We have two options: Iloilo Doctor’s Hospital and West Visayas State University Hospital. I asked her to take my wife to “Doctor’s” because of their recent experience there which is favorable to the medical requirements of my better half.

But this doesn’t mean West Visayas State University Hospital is not a good hospital. I have seen thousands of people going in and out of the hospital that were given the cure they need. I even assisted an old guy once who didn’t have any ID and money but gained consultation and x-ray. Now that’s government service.

Unfortunately, something has to be done in our government hospitals particularly here in Iloilo City. The emergency rooms in two hospitals have no air-conditioning system and in this really, really hot weather it’s going to be near-hell for those who don’t feel well. The poor companions will forced to fan their patients for hours. This is the first reason why I didn’t take my better half to the government hospital – she is suffering from high grade fever and conditions in the government hospital would only make her feel worst.

Another challenge to government hospitals is the lack of personnel. I love working with intern doctors because they are so eager to help. But the real doctors are rarely seen because they are also busy on helping others. They are practically overwhelmed that they often focus on those who really need them. I can say that those who were stabbed or shot are the first ones who would be given attention.

The Private Institutions

I don’t have a beef with these private institutions. I respect their way of doing business since they will give a good service but will require a fee. The latter factor has been my problem though.

Money is always a question in private institutions but they are very subtle. I like the way they support their patients. They treated my wife as soon as she arrived in the hospital, no questions asked. After 4 hours and a couple of tests (that I paid for) her results arrived with the diagnosis.

Private hospitals will always provide patients with an option – you can always deny the hospitals recommendation for some tests. In fact, you can go home as soon as possible if run out of funds. You can just ignore their pleading for tests.

But who can ignore these recommendations. I can’t say no to X-rays, blood and urine tests since this are the only way my wife would be diagnosed and a cure would be formulated. They subtly are telling me that “yes, we’re not forcing you but this is a matter of life and death”. Fortunately, I was able to get Philhealth’s help which slashed the hospital bill 60% (maybe more).

Stay tuned for more articles related to health care system. Up next: Interns!

1 comment:

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