July 15, 2024

An open letter to the BGHMC administration

I am one of the patients at the Baguio General Hospital and Medical Center cancer center.
I am happy and satisfied that the doctors and hospital personnel are truly helpful, kind, and sensitive to all patients. However, there is one area which I believe BGH can improve on to make it even more patient-centered, and that is in the area of billing for purposes of monitoring PhilHealth insurance coverage.
Based on my experience, every treatment requires the patient or his or her watcher to go to the billing section, which is three floors up at the level of the Emergency Room (ER) in a separate building beside the center.
Sometimes the queue can take as much as 20 to 30 minutes to get the required documents printed, after which they get signed and brought back to the cancer center for clearance from the nurse on-duty.
The current system in place may unnecessarily expose cancer patients and/or their watchers to the risk of Covid-19 infection. Most of the patients have undergone chemotherapy which lowers their white blood cell count, which in turn increases their risk of infection. And they also need their watchers to be healthy, so that the latter can take good care of them.
Since it is a given that it is PhilHealth’s policy that every treatment be registered and updated in their system, so as to efficiently monitor how much it spends for each patient treatment for a specific number of days, I wish to suggest that the Radiology and Chemotherapy Departments each have its own PhilHealth billing section in their respective nurse’s stations, so that it would be convenient to have patients sign documents themselves and have the head nurse or nurse-on-duty clear them after each treatment.
And if it is the patient’s scheduled date for a CBC, I suggest that a medical technologist is ready at hand to take a blood sample from the patient without requiring him/her to line up with many other patients at the first floor.
The goal here is to decrease the chance of infection and make it convenient and practical for cancer patients who are immuno-compromised to meet their PhilHealth requirements. — GERARDO ESPIRITU, Baguio City