Provincial lawmakers are now pushing for the free use of ambulances of district hospitals and those owned by local government units amid clamor from the public against the imposition of fees for ambulance service.
Provincial Board Member Alexie Tutor called on other board members to pass the ordinance seeking to waive fees for ambulance service as the measure remained pending at the committee level of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan (SP).
According to Tutor, the provincial government has enough resources to shoulder the free use of ambulances.
“In view of this, since we already have the ordinance that is still pending at the committee level that we have to disregard the ambulance services fees, it’s about time that we pass that ordinance so we can also help the constituents especially in our district in regards to provincial hospitals operating the ambulance services,” said Tutor in her privilege speech earlier this month.
Tutor pointed out in particular the Teodoro Galagar Memorial Hospital in Jagna which has drawn flack for allegedly collecting exorbitant fees for ambulance services.
“There’s a growing clamor in the Municipality of Jagna in regards to the Teodoro Galagar Memorial Hospital in reference to the use of ambulance service,” she added.
Tutor said that she received four separate complaints regarding payments for the use of the hospital’s ambulance—P1 ,600 “service fee” supposedly for fuel consumption and P500 for the “ambulance nurse.”
The Teodoro Galagar Memorial Hospital is among 10 hospitals administered by the provincial government.
Meanwhile, Board Member Jade Bautista, chair of the SP’s health committee, and Board Member Elpidio Jala, chair of the SP’s committee on education, expressed support for the measure.
Bautista is expected to include the proposal in her committee report on hospital fees which is outlined in a pending provincial ordinance.
For her part, Provincial Treasurer Eustaquio Soccorin said that expenses for the ambulance service can be covered by the provincial government. (RT)