MEDICAL ANECDOTAL REPORT
Indexing Title: AALVEZ’S MAR [15-05]
MAR Title: Funds for the Operation
Date of Medical Observation: May 2015
Tag: Suggesting Ways on subsidizing an operation
Category: Professional/Ethical – Reinforcement
I was approached by a 55 year-old male during one of my duties in the outpatient department (OPD). He was recently diagnosed with Benign Prostatic hypertrophy (BPH, enlargement of prostate). He was having difficulty in urinating and was placed on foley catheter. He wanted to be operated as soon as possible. However, he was having difficulty in collating funds needed for the operation to proceed.
“Doc, ano ba pwede kong gawin para mapondohan ang operasyon ko? (Doctor, what can I do to fund my operation?)” At that moment, I found out that his children was already raising funds for the operation. However, the fund raised was still not enough. I told them of two possible ways to have finance his operation. First, I told him to enroll in Philhealth program as an individually paying member. It will help him in paying for his hospital bills and some materials for the operation. Next, I also told him to try to apply for a PCSO grant for medical assistance to guarantee enough funds to cover additional expenses not included in the Philhealth program. I handed him the necessary paperwork to apply for the grant. He thanked me and told me that he will try to do what I suggested and he would be back immediately.
A month had passed, he came back in the OPD. He informed me he already enrolled in the Philhealth program and he was granted financial assistance from PCSO for the operation. I scheduled his operation. He was successfully operated on and was discharged after a few days without complications.
(Physical, Professional/Ethical, Psychosocial)
(Discovery, Stimulus, Reinforcement)
In our hospital, we often encounter patients who are in dire need of assistance financially for their operation. More often, the hospital has difficulty in helping these patients through our social service. It is in the best interest of our patients that we suggest ways in helping them finance their operation.
We often ask them of their relatives who can help them financially. We, as Filipinos, have close family ties. It is easy to ask for help to our relatives. However, some of our patients’ relatives are financially unstable. Our patients seek to other means to ease the financial burden of their operation.
One option our patient has is enrolling themselves to the Philhealth program. Since 2014, the program ensures no balance billing to our admitted patients. Each operation has its case rate basis in which the hospital should work around. The program ensures no balance billing to our admitted patients in case they exceeded the case rate set by the Philhealth.
However, not all expenses can be covered by the Philhealth program. Our patient can also apply for the medical assistance program by the PCSO. We should advise our patient to file for indigency in their respective barangays and hand them necessary supporting documents such as clinical abstract and medical certificate before applying to the medical grant. It may take up to 3 months before the grant be given to our patients.
These are two options we could suggest to our patients in terms of their funding source for their operation. It may take a while before it is accomplished but it is significant to our patients in need.
ROJoson’s Notes (17jan14):
As of January 2017, utilizing PhilHealth and seeking assistance from Philippine Charity Sweepstake Office are still the main strategies to look for funds for indigent patients. Relatives and friends can help too, if available. Assistance from barangays, local government officials, house representatives and senators may also be availed of.