KMU: Employees face lost income, starvation
By Dominique Gabriel G. Bañaga
The local chapter of workers’ rights group Kilusang Mayo Uno (KMU) issued a statement yesterday criticizing the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth) after denying accreditation for the Bacolod Our Lady of Mercy Specialty Hospital.
KMU Regional Coordinator Noly Rosales said, before PhilHealth released its decision, the Bacolod Our Lady of Mercy Specialty Hospital was working smoothly and in stable condition financially. He also referred to the facility as “highly competitive” in medical services, with a “fairly good” reputation for offering “affordable and quality medical services” to the public regardless of social status.
Rosales said the sudden termination of operations and employment by Negros Healthcare Management Systems, Inc. (NHMSI) and the “deafening silence” from Tiong Bi, Inc., the principal employer, has left hospital employees and their families with the possibility of lost income and “unexpected starvation.”
Rosales said KMU strongly supports the hospital’s local union in its struggle to defend job security.
The group also backs their right to strike and stressed a need for continued recognition in the event there is a change of management.
KMU urged both Tiong Bi, Inc. and NHMSI to “get their acts together” and settle the matter with PhilHealth.
Earlier this week, reports suggested the Bacolod Our Lady of Mercy Specialty Hospital will shut down operations after the hospital’s application for accreditation as a Level 2 provider was denied due to fraudulent acts.
PhilHealth also reported P25 million, covering March until May of this year, has yet to be paid to the hospital.
The impending closure also threatens the jobs of at least 401 employees.
Last year, a congressional hearing of the House Committee on Good Government and Public Accountability revealed some hospital physicians allegedly collected excessive amounts in PhilHealth claims for unnecessary procedures, with the Our Lady of Mercy Hospital in Bacolod City named as one of the involved hospitals.
According to a PTV report, doctors at the said hospital allegedly recommended patients undergo cataract surgery even if it was not necessary./DGB, WDJ