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Hospital bail-out for indigent patients in time for Christmas

General Santos City – More than 100 indigent patients confined at the city government-run hospital here have been discharged without paying their bills through the amnesty program of the Department of Health (DOH) and the local government.

City Mayor Ronnel Rivera said the DOH, under its Medical Assistance Program, had earlier released R6 million to the city government, which in turn provided a P1-million counterpart to bail out indigent patients at the General Santos City hospital.

He said at least 114 indigent patients who were not enlisted in the PhilHealth were covered by the amnesty program.

Personnel from the City Social Welfare and Development Office had conducted the screening on the patients to determine if they were qualified to avail of the amnesty program.

Rivera had instructed hospital administrators that the city hospital should also cater to patients who are not residents of General Santos City.

“We want to help needy people confined in the city hospital who are not even our constituents,” Rivera said.

Regie Teves, 29, a resident of Barangay Tambler, said his wife was admitted at the city hospital following a caesarian delivery but they did not have the money to pay their hospital bill amounting to P5,000.

“This is the greatest Christmas gift for me,” Teves said.

Gabrielle Fernandez, assistant head of the city hospital, said the DOH has promised to provide additional funds next year for the amnesty program.

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