Law That Prohibits Hospitals From Demanding Deposit

Being hospitalized is an additional burden for the impoverished as many hospitals require deposit before a patient can be admitted. On Thursday, August 3, President Rodrigo Duterte signed a law that increases penalties for clinics and hospitals that fail to administer initial medical treatment to patient who fail to provide deposit. The law is known as Republic Act No. 10932 or the Anti-Hospital Deposit Law. 

The law states 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.

The violation of the Act will be punishable 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. Stiffer penalties will also be imposed upon officers and directors of clinics and hospitals. 

Upon three (3) repeated violations committed pursuant to an established policy of the hospital or clinic or upon the instructions of its management, the health facility's license to operate shall be revoked by the DOH. The president chairman, board of directors, or trustees, and other officers of the health facility shall be solidarily liable for damages that may be awarded by the court to the patient complainant. 

Under Section 3 of the same Act, "after the hospital or medical clinic mentioned above shall have administered medical treatment and support, it may cause the transfer of the patient to an appropriate hospital consistent with the needs of the patient especially in the case of poor or indigent patients. 

There are also provisions intended for pregnant women. While the previous version of this Act stated that hospitals were only held accountable for cases in which patient required immediate medical care, the new version states that clinics and hospitals can also be held accountable if they fail to administer treatment to a woman. 

Pinoy Attorney

Written by : Pinoy Attorney