President Rodrigo Roa Duterte on Thursday, August 3, signed into law, increasing the penalties for the refusal of hospitals and clinics to administer appropriate initial medical treatment in emergency or serious cases.
Republic Act No. 10932, otherwise known as the Anti-Hospital Deposit Law provides that “in emergency or serious cases, it shall be unlawful for any hospital or medical clinic to request, solicit, demand or accept any deposit or any other form of advance payment as prerequisite for administering basic emergency care, for confinement or medical treatment, or to refuse to administer medical treatment and support to any patient.”
Under this new law, any official, medical practitioner or employee of the hospital or medical clinic who violates the provisions of this Act shall be punished by imprisonment of not less than six (6) months and one (1) day but not more than two (2) years and four (4) months, or a fine of not less than P100,000.00 but not more than P300,000.00 or both.
Higher penalties of imprisonment of four (4) to six (6) years, or a fine of not less than P500,000.00 but not more than one million pesos, or both, are imposed upon directors or officers of hospitals or clinics responsible for the formulation and implementation of policies or instructions violative of this Act.
Three (3) repeated violations, added RA 10932, shall result in the revocation of the health facility’s license to operate by the Department of Health (DOH).
A presumption of liability shall arise against the hospital, medical clinic, and the official, medical practitioner, or employee involved in the event of death, permanent disability, serious impairment of the health condition of the patient-complainant or in the case of a pregnant woman, permanent injury or loss of her unborn child as a result of the denial of his or her admission to the health facility, according to RA 10932.
“The Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth) shall reimburse the hospital or clinic for the cost of basic emergency care and transportation services given to poor and indigent patients,” RA 10932 stated.
The law further stated that “the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) shall also provide medical assistance for the basic emergency care needs of poor and marginalized groups.”
The Department of Health (DOH), in cooperation with PhilHealth, the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) shall promulgate the Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR). Non-governmental organizations (NGOs) advocating for public health and patients’ rights will also be consulted for the IRR.###PCO-Content