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Mother refused entry at UST Legazpi hospital

By Manuel T. Ugalde


LEGAZPI CITY --- A single mother pathetically learned a costly lesson when a prominent private hospital here refused her entry at the operating room during her scheduled colposcopy test despite being fully vaccinated against the Covid-19 virus.


The patient was scheduled for a vaginal test called colposcopy early last February at the UST Legazpi Hospital by virtue of a guarantee-letter on January 30 from a congressman that would cover the hospital cost, as an outpatient. She was however denied entry at the operating room absence of a swab test, thus preventing her to undergo the test. The swab test which cost P800 pesos more shall be performed at the said hospital before a patient is allowed at the operating room.


Mrs. Ann Ann Boyonas, 31, said it was all her understanding that the guarantee-letter issued by Albay 2nd District Congressman Joey Sarte Salceda for P8,997.91 plus his Philhealth coverage of P5,500 already covered everything that she was scheduled by the hospital attending doctor for the test, only to be refused the last minute, absence for the extra P800 cash for the swab test. She said she had only P100 cash that she decided to backout for the colposcopy test. I have to back out in silent very much disgusted, said the pathetic single mother, after the attending doctor Maria Cecilia Neptuno who will perform the test told her that a swab test was a hospital mandatory requirement before one can enter the operating room.


The patient confessed she’s a complete stranger in Legazpi City renting a small room with her daughter at Barangay Cabangan, Legazpi. Without the extra help from a concern person and the Office of Congressman Joey Sarte Salceda she may not be able to avail the hospital colposcopy services. Discounting even a remaining fraction of pride, Boyonas said she report to work daily on walk traversing the two kilometer distance to the mall she’s working with as a saleslady, to save for her daughter.


The poor patient who was barely three years in Legazpi City was diagnosed experiencing abnormal bleeding in addition to her monthly period. The Legazpi Doctor Syla Andamon who examined her in September last year had recommended that she undergo for a colposcopy at the UST Legazpi City hospital, explaining colposcopy test was available at the said hospital only. The 31-year-old single mother said she began experiencing from abnormal intermittent bleeding early in 2022 that she sought medical checkup in September of same year. Absence of money, the single mother claimed her desire to submit for the colposcopy test keep her action often delayed, adding she is not from Bicol without relatives and living with her elementary-age daughter in a small-rented room in Legazpi City. She said the name UST-Legazpi Hospital was not for the disadvantage kind of people like me, she added.


But Mrs. Ann Ann Boyonas, a native of Bohol and Manila said a friend had pressured her to submit for the test, barring the feared cancer issue.


She said that early in January, a fellow mall worker referred her case for help on her acquainted journalist she had once sought help for a job who eventually offered a P500 cash that immediately led her to the UST Legazpi Hospital with one Dra. Maria Cecilia Neptuno attended her case. A undated note in a piece of paper with a name UST Legazpi Hospital logo print was handed her showing a handwritten note with a figure of P10,000 professional fee for her colposcopy test less a discount of P4,000. A separate handwritten note dated January 20 from Dra. Neptuno of P18,000 was the expected total expenses for the colposcopy, said Boyonas.


Mrs. Boyonas said the pegged amount for the doctor and hospital fees, however, was to her unthinkable, the reason that cost her much delay for the test as a single mother, having no relatives in Legazpi.


Added to her woes was her Philhealth contribution which the UST Legazpi Hospital discovered to have no contribution since her employment the past two years in Legazpi City. She also discovered that even her Pagibig and SSS record did not have contribution at all despite her employer regular deductions from her salary.


Mrs. Boyonas explained she was separated from her first husband in Manila in 2016 even before she had her first baby, absence of support from the father. In 2018, she fell in love with a Bicolano from Sorsogon who brought her with her daughter at his hometown in Bulusan, Sorsogon. It turned out her second partner was dependent from her farmer parents, worse, also had a wife housed in Irosin, Sorsogon.


Finding no space in a situation you cannot depend on, Mrs. Boyonas desperately left Bulusan in late 2019 to look for a job in Legazpi with her daughter. She said she was temporary accommodated at the residence for three months by a former fellow mall worker in Manila who happened to have transferred to Legazpi, her hometown.


The single mother said she was referred by the helping journalist to the office of Congressman Salceda that a guarantee-letter for P8,897.91 for UST Legazpi hospital was issued on January 30, 2023. With her Philhealth coverage pegged at P5,500 after final arrangement with her employer, she expected everything was settled at the hospital, Boyonas disclosed.


The UST Legazpi Hospital attending Dr. Maria Cecilia Neptuno computed Mrs. Boyonas colposcopy hospital cost dated January 20, 2023 at around P18,000, one document showed.


A separate UST Legazpi City Hospital document showed Boyonas was admitted on March 10, 2023 4:45 pm. with a hospital gross charges of P6,022.70 less P5,500 Philhealth coverage of patient, leaving the amount of P522.70 total amount due for the patient. The total amount of professional fees for the attending doctor was at P2,520.00.


The swab test, according to Mrs. Boyonas was realized only when said journalist extended her extra assistance for the swab test that her colposcopy test was finally performed on February 21, however, with the result promised for release three days later. Absence of the P6,000 balance for the Doctor’s professional fee, however, she could not drop at the hospital to claim the test result. Asked about the result of her colposcopy test last week after more than 2 months, the single mother texted she has yet to get it from the UST Legazpi Hospital until now absence of money.


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