Random Thoughts

ALIENATING THE POOR FURTHER – Before our deadline, we received a press release from Region 1 Medical Center (R1MC) stating in part that it has adopted an on-line registration scheme in place of the old registration scheme “which came under scrutiny for charging P30 registration fee for incoming patients”

This (on-line registration scheme) the pr said, is part of R1MC’s strategy to cope with its increasing number of patients from all parts of the region as contained in a  press release prepared by Peja Lagao Batallones for R1MC.

Well and good.

Then the press release went further “In reply to a newsman’s query, the said ” P30 registration fee is for private (sic) patient during the time of Secretary of Health Ona”,  to which we say is quite vague a claim since it suggests many possibilities.

Firstly, it implies that the system of P30 registration took effect during the time of then Health Secretary and second, this was officially sanctioned by him.

Apparently, R1MC’s press release stemmed from an item we put out in this corner based on the complaint aired to us by one patient that he was made to pay P30, which he surmised to be an “entrance fee” when he had his injured left eye treated at R1MC.

In the press release, Ms. Battalones claimed that indigent patients are not being charged P30, but the complaining patient is an indigent. No distinction was made.

We appreciate the explanation given by R1MC but por pabor, it should have elaborated further stating the mechanics of the on-line registration, which website to go to, and whether registrants will still be required to pay P30 before they can get the needed medical attention.

Does it mean that only online registration will be honored? What happens to indigent patients who cannot afford to pay the hourly rate for internet, much less know how to use a computer? No online registration, no treatment?

Isn’t R1MC further alienating the poor through this ‘modern’ system? – Leonardo Micua


DEATH BY THE BAYWALK –The construction of a boardwalk along the beautiful coastline from the historic Lingayen Beach toward the equally scenic Binmaley beach has made a lot of people very happy.

It gives people, young and old alike, the much-needed facility for their exercise, whether by leisure walking, jogging, running, dancing or others like slow bike riding.

I must commend Second District Rep. Pol Bataoil for initiating this project. The congressman is also the initiator of the Zumba dance exercise every Saturday morning by the baywalk behind the majestic Capitol building.

But on March 5, in a supposed lovely sunset, a heartbreaking incident happened.

Engr. Aurelio Untalan died owing to an accident while he was walking with his dog for his routine exercise along that boardwalk in Binmaley.

The culprit: A drunk man sped off on his motorcycle that hit the victim. Fortunately, he was arrested.

But Untalan died after four days of confinement in a hospital.

I heard his son, Dr. Vlad Untalan, being interviewed over Bombo Radyo Dagupan about the incident.

The younger Untalan urged authorities in Binmaley to pass enabling ordinance banning motor vehicles to pass through the baywalk.  As its name aptly suggests, the project is for walking, not for moving vehicles.

I admire the Untalan family for spearheading a motorcade and awareness run for safety campaign for joggers and bikers on March 19 as a result of the sudden demise of their dear dad. Sana daw magsilbing aral na sa lahat ang pagkamatay ng tatay nila.

I do not know the Untalan family but I praise their courage in initiating the move to ensure public’s safety while grieving over their loss.

I urge our local authorities in Binmaley (and Lingayen) to provide the needed solution ASAP to protect the public. Make this your wake-up call.—Tita Roces

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