Sunday, March 20, 2011

Hospitals in Metro Manila

No, Bobby is not going to get hospitalized. He isn't back yet, and won't be here until the last day of March.  I will be hospitalized very soon, over a minor diagnostic/preventive procedure.  Strangely, when the doctor first told me I was going to be confined for it, I was actually happy (I don't know if that is the right description for it). I remember telling the doctor how I can finally use my health plan after having it for five years.

But now that the whole idea of it is starting to dawn on me, I am slightly scared of the first really invasive thing to be done on me.  It is a minor operation but an operation nonetheless.  I will be under anesthesia, but being under anesthesia only makes me think that it will be painful, otherwise, what is the need for my being under anesthesia, right?

At any rate, I told the doctor I will wait for when my husband gets back to the Philippines, before I undergo the operation.  One thing you really need to remember about being hospitalized in the Philippines, is the need to have someone next to you when you are hospitalized.  Not for the "moral" support, but more to have someone run the errands of paying for the bills, talking to the doctor, and even in some hospitals, buying the medicine.  When a patient receives medicines from the hospital's pharmacy, it usually has the "hospital rate" which is different from the rate outside.  Further, your medicine will be dependent on your room rate.  So the more expensive your room is, the more expensive everything is -- the medicines, the diagnostic procedure and even the doctor's professional fee. So in some instances, most people choose to just buy the medicines prescribed by the attending physician, buy it outside the hospital from the nearby pharmacy and save in the total cost of hospitalization.  In my case, I don't need to worry about it, as long as I choose to stay within my covered room rate.  I read my contract and it said if I choose to upgrade, I pay an extra 30% on everything.  So I decided I will stick with my semi-private room rate, after all I will only be there for a day.  Also after going down the list of who could accompany me: 1) mother too old; 2) brother too shy; 3) best friend too busy with her law firm work, I am left with the ultimate choice of waiting for my husband.  I just have to prepare all the paperwork for my husband before we go there like the Philhealth form and all lab results.

The next question was what to use for the hospitalization: 1) my health plan or 2) my office's P60,000 hospital benefit.  If I got the Office's hospital benefit, I would be limited to only one hospital (Capitol Medical Center) and I am limited only to P60,000.  But I don't suppose it would cost that much, but who knows.  The good thing is that hospital is near us, so in that regard it is more convenient.  If I choose my health plan, I have higher coverage (P160,000), although I am limited to a semi-private room (which is what I am covered for).  I also have several choices of hospitals, including Capitol Medical Center.  So I ended up choosing my health plan.

So next question was WHERE to get hospitalized. The doctor I had already consulted with is accredited with Victor R. Potenciano Medical Center which is in Mandaluyong, far from us but not terribly, but far nonetheless.  If I go to a different hospital, I will not get the doctor that I want, which is already the one I had consulted with.  So, I asked my husband, he said to take the doctor I am most comfortable with. Also, after I looked up the hospital I realized it was a better choice for being a "Center of Excellence" as rated by Philhealth.

If you are interested in knowing what hospitals are rated as among the Centers of Excellence in Manila and other Regions, here they are.

When I looked at some of their OB packages (no I am not pregnant yet), and what I have heard so far from those who have been hospitalized in St. Luke's or Capitol Medical Center, I realized how disparate hospitals charge are and yet sometimes, they have all the same doctors.  Well, I just made a mental note of how much lesser their OB packages are.  Maybe someday. :p

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for that list. I wasn't aware PhilHealth was stepping out that way and gaining visibility/credibility. It's a much needed program, IMO.

    Most foreigners have no concept of the 'bantay' (watchers)issues at hospitals. If the patient is a minor, the hospital can require an adult 'bantay' ... or try to, anyway. A month or so ago our 17yo niece was sick, we took her to our family doctor (whose clinic is in our local hospital). Did a few tests and pronounced the magic word nobody wants to hear ... 'confined'.

    (I wonder why 'confined' is the word for 'admitted' here in the Philippines ... in the US 'confined' is typically only used for prison sentences and often followed by the words, "for the rest of your natural life" ;-) ).

    Anyway, we got the girl settled and went to leave to drive home and get her essentials for her stay. "Stop", said Nurse Ratched, "She's a minor, one of you has to stay."

    Well I didn't want to stay and wipe things I'm not supposed to see, nor did I want to be the one to go home and pick through her panty drawer (how would I know what bra she wanted, women get emotionally attached to those things ;-)).

    Long story short, the nurse finally let us go with a promise to return very quickly, and we brought back her sister to be the overnight bantay ... but I don't really know what happens to a person here in the Philippines if they have to go to the hospital alone ... could be a really scary thing.