Random Thoughts

R1MC’s P30 “ENTRANCE FEE” — Is the Region 1 Medical Center now a private medical facility? This question was posed to me by my neighbor, a foreigner and friend in Bonuan. He asked me this while having our coffee at a fastfood outlet in the company of his other friends, among them retired Judge Victor Llamas.

My neighbor, who long considered Dagupan his home, related to me an incident on February 27 when a kin of his Filipino wife had the sad experience of being asked by R1MC to pay an “entrance fee” of P30. before he could have his injured left eye checked, an emergency situation. He was casually directed to Window 4 to secure an official receipt that cost P30. This man, my friend related, felt he had no choice but to pay the amount but he noticed an old woman beside him who was not allowed to get in because she only had P10 coin in her palm.

If this is true, the policy defeats the very purpose for which R1MC was established. This is highly discriminating against the poor who constitute the majority in this side of the country.  And where does the P30 fee (per patient) go, if I may ask?

I don’t know of any hospital, government or private, that requires its clientele to first secure entrance tickets before they can ask for medical attention. Only at RMIC, I suppose.

My friend said that had he known that RIMC would require an “entrance fee” to its facility, he would have told his cousin-in-law to have rather gone to Trauma Hospital in Lucao where he would be attended immediately without paying an “entrance fee”.

Trauma Hospital and the Pangasinan Provincial Hospital in San Carlos City don’t have a protocol like this that requires patients to pay an “entrance fee” before one can get medical attention. Doesn’t this make R1MC anti-poor, contrary to its mission?

This to me appears unprecedented and only done at R1MC.

If this is now the norm at R1MC, this is definitely something for President Rody Duterte and Department of Health (DOH) to look into because such an unacceptable protocol in a government facility, if it truly exists, undermines the poor, makes them second class citizens in this country and degrading even more.

Granting that R1MC has now acquired a corporate status that it has longed for, although a government facility, it does not mean it can now discriminate against the bare-footed poor and the unwashed within its facility.

So let’s ask R1MC: why are you collecting P30 “entrance fee”? Is this authorized by DOH? –  Leonardo Micua


LESSONS FROM GYPSY’S LIFE — It was a trip worth remembering on Feb. 25 in San Jose City, Nueva Ecija.

We did it for a good friend. We did it for the love of Gypsy. Yes, our fabulous Roman “Gypsy” Baldovino, whose choice of clothing and talent in writing is as colorful as his life.

It was a day of thanksgiving before Gypsy’s birthday.

We will forever cherish that day when we celebrated life, a new life that is, for Gypsy. Many are not aware that Gypsy almost bade this world goodbye in the middle of December last year.

He suffered aneurysm and was confined in Villaflor Hospital for two weeks. Everybody then thought he would leave us any moment.

But all who love him did not lose hope and we stormed heaven with prayers. And God answered our pleas.

Now, we could say that Gypsy’s second life is one of God’s precious miracles.

What happened to Gypsy teaches us all an important lesson in life. We must learn to slow down, spend more time with our family and loved ones and enjoy each day with gratitude to the Lord for the breath we take.

Yes, work is our life but we must learn to balance everything.

Henceforth, Gypsy’s presence in Pangasinan will be scarce for a while but he (and also we, his friends) will surely miss the life he had here.

When the “itch” to get back to work bites him again, Gypsy actions will surely be extra cautious and more deliberate, I’m sure.— Eva Visperas

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