No meds? Bukidnon gov’t hospital hit for refusing patients

MALAYBALAY CITY (MindaNews/29 September) – Bukidnon’s leading public hospital has drawn criticisms for refusing a number of patients reportedly because it lacks medicines and supplies.

But provincial board member Ranulfo Pepito, in a privilege speech Wednesday at the Sangguniang Panlalawigan’s regular session, questioned the reason given by the Bukidnon Provincial Medical Center (BPMC) in refusing to admit some patients.

“What’s happening with our Bukidnon Provincial Medical Center? When will it ever serve the public right?” he asked.

Pepito said he received reports from a private hospital in Valencia City that it had admitted patients whom the BPMC allegedly refused due to lack of supplies and medicines.

In a text message, the official named two patients from who were not admitted at the BMPC because the hospital reportedly did not have oxygen and X-ray film. He said one of the patients was a victim of stabbing and the other one had a serious ailment.

Pepito said the latter patient eventually died.
Reacting to Pepito’s speech, Vice Gov. Jose Ma. R. Zubiri Jr. told MindaNews he has initiated a probe on alleged unauthorized deliveries of supplies and medicines and problems on bidding at the BPMC and other public hospitals in the province. 

Zubiri said he received reports a total of about P16 million worth of unauthorized deliveries were made since last year and about P23 million worth of purchases were made without following the proper bidding process.

He added the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation has warned it will conduct a probe on October 5, which may lead to sanctions against the hospitals’ accreditation with the agency.
Provo Antipasado, provincial administrator, declined to give comments although he confirmed that Zubiri and Gov. Alex Calingasan had indeed started an investigation.
Calingasan said in his radio program Saturday the provincial board has looked into the bidding process of the supplies and medicines and admitted it has experienced delays. 

Pepito told MindaNews Saturday it was not the first time complaints were raised against the hospital for refusing patients for alleged lack of medicines and supplies.

He said Zubiri requested an audience with Calingasan next week to tackle the problem. (Walter I. Balane/MindaNews)