SPMC and the heartbeat of Mindanao

PUBLIC HEALTH LENSColumnist Image by Romulo F. Nieva Jr., RN, MHSS

THE news headlines labeling Southern Philippines Medical Center (SPMC) as “Davao City hospital” are obviously misleading and have underlying malice. Such morbid typecasting is a blatant insult to the good governance and competent workforce of the hospital that have transformed SPMC into an advanced and well- equipped public health care institution (HCI) in the country. Just to fact check, SPMC is not a Davao city hospital. It’s a Department of Health (DOH)- retained regional hospital located in Davao city. So, this hospital is not the same as Ospital ng Maynila nor Ospital ng Makati, which are both city government- managed HCIs.

People who have raised doubts about the amount of PhilHealth funds received by SPMC are misinformed. PhilHealth Circular 34 s-2013, policy on the provision of special privileges to those affected by a fortuitous event, noted that interim reimbursement mechanism (IRM) was set up as a quick response to the calamity through substantial financial support, and in order to provide continuous health care services from the affected HCIs brought about by the disasters. Specifically, the IRM amount is based on the facility’s average reimbursement per day (ARPD). And the number of days covered shall be 90 days from the date of event onset. For instance, Hospital A was affected by an event that happened on January 12, 2020. Its ARPD for 2019 was P100,000. Hence, PhilHealth would provide funding for Hospital A an amount of P9 million (P100,000 x 90 days) for the covered period in 2020. READ MORE

The author Romulo Nieva Jr. is a public health professional and currently a doctoral research scholar at the University of Otago in New Zealand.

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