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Fri. Jun 18th, 2021
ambulance leaving guimaras provincial hospital

In the Philippines some hospitals try to hold patients hostage until their bill is fully paid. I know from personal experience. An armed guard at a hospital’s exit scrutinizes your officially paid receipt before you can leave. If you haven’t paid your bill in full, the guard may stop you from leaving. Today’s post, “Philippine Hospitals CANNOT Imprison You for Non-Payment,” explains why this practice is illegal on the part of any hospital.

Animal bite treatment center at Guimaras provincial hospital

Philippine Hospitals CANNOT Imprison You for Non-Payment

REPUBLIC ACT NO. 9439, effective April 27, 2007, states: “It shall be unlawful for any hospital or medical clinic in the country to detain or to otherwise cause, directly or indirectly, the detention of patients who have fully or partially recovered or have been adequately attended to or who may have died, for reasons of nonpayment in part or in full of hospital bills or medical expenses.”

Therefore, holding a patient because of their  inability to pay the bill in full is tantamount to “imprisonment for nonpayment of debt.” This practice is contrary to the Constitution of the Philippines.

The patient can write a promissory note and if they fail to pay, the hospital can then file a civil suit.

(Originally published February 2011)

By The Kano

POST AUTHOR: "THE KANO." Dave DeWall, "The Kano", is the Publisher & Editor-in-Chief of "Philippines Plus" in publication since August 2009. He is also the CEO of Lizard Poop Productions and author of the best-selling guide book "The Philippines Expat Advisor." Dave moved to the Philippines in July 2009 from Central Illinois with his lovely wife of over 21 years, "The Sainted Patient Wife." The couple reside in a rural province in Western Visayas, Guimaras. The small island province is said to have the sweetest mangoes in the world. They do not have any children but are the proud owners of eight active canines, including a Belgian Malinois called "Killer" "Killer" has bitten five people over the years along with one goat and a carabao. "Killer" doesn't like strangers. Or goats. Or carabaos.

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