Hontiveros welcomes Du30 signing of her anti-hospital deposit law

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File photos of President Rodrigo Duterte (from Malacanang) and Sen. Ana Theresia Hontiveros (from Senate PRIB)

MANILA, Philippines – Sen. Ana Theresia “Risa” Hontiveros on Friday welcomed President Rodrigo Duterte’s signing into law of her bill increasing the penalties for hospitals refusing to extend medical treatment to patients without deposit.

Hontiveros said Republic Act No. 10932 or the Strengthened Anti-Hospital Deposit Law, which she authored and signed by Duterte last August 3, “will end the despicable practice of abusive hospitals that demand any deposit or other forms of advance payment as a pre-requisite for admission or medical treatment of an emergency patient.”

Mas mahalaga ang buhay kesa kita. Dahil sa batas na ito, wala ng mahirap na itataboy ng mga abusadong hospital. Wala nang mahirap na magmamakaawa para sa medikal na kalinga,” Hontiveros said in a statment.

[Life is more important than money. Because of this law, there will no longer be poor people who will be driven away by abusive hospitals. There will no longer be poor people who will plead for medical care.]

The new law states that, “In emergency or serious cases, it shall be unlawful… to request, solicit, demand, or accept any deposit or any other form of advance payment as prerequisite for administering basic emergency care to any patient.”

“Any official, medical practitioner or employee of a hospital or medical clinic who violates the provision of this act shall, upon conviction by final judgment, be punished by imprisonment of not less than six months and one day but not more than two years and four months, or a fine of not less than P100,000, but not more than P300,000.00 or both at the discretion of the court,” it further stated.

The law says that, “If such violation was committed pursuant to an established policy of the hospital or clinic, or upon instruction of its management, the director or officer of the hospital or clinic responsible for the formulation and implementation of such policy shall, upon the conviction by final judgement, suffer imprisonment of four to six years, or a fine of not less than P500, 000 but not more than P1,000,000 or both at the discretion of the court.”