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Poor single mother refused entry at UST Legazpi Hospital for test

Manuel T. Ugalde

LEGAZPI CITY --- A single mother pathetically learned a costly lesson when a prominent private hospital 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 by virtue of a guarantee-letter on January 30 issued by an Albay congressman plus her Philhealth insurance that would cover the hospital cost, as an outpatient. She was, however, denied entry at the operating room aborted by simple absence of a swab test. The swab test cost P800 pesos more which shall be performed at the said hospital itself.

Mrs. Ann Ann Boyonas, 31, said it was her understanding that the guarantee-letter from Albay 2nd District Congressman Joey Sarte Salceda for P8,997.99 and his Philhealth coverage of P5,500 already covered everything that she was scheduled no less by the hospital to undergo the test, only to be refused the last minute, absence of P800 cash for the swab test. She said she had only P100 cash that she decided to backout, lamenting the swab test can be performed by the hospital anyway and have me pay the cost later. That is why I decided to back out in silent disgust, said the pathetic single mother, after the attending doctor Maria Cecilia Neptuno told her that a swab test was a hospital mandatory requirement before one can enter the operating room.

The patient confided she’s a stranger in Legazpi City renting a small room with her elementary grade daughter. Without the extra help from a concern journalist and the office of Congressman Salceda, certainly, I would just ignore undergo the colposcopy test she said, adding she finally had the test on February 21, upon the assistance of a concern journalist.

Discounting any form of pride, Boyonas said she report to work daily on walk the two-kilometer distance to the mall she’s working with as a saleslady, to save for her daughter’s need.

The poor patient who was barely three years in Legazpi City was experiencing abnormal bleeding for a year, saying her fear had forced her to borrow money to see a doctor in September last year, who recommended for an early colposcopy test. Boyonas said her doctor Syla Andamon surprised her, however, that colposcopy test was only available at the UST Legazpi hospital. Knowing its stature and prominence, I decided to forego the test.

A native of Bohol, Boyonas said a friend had pressured her last January to submit for the test in fear of the unforeseen health circumstances. She referred my case to a journalist who gave her a cash just enough for the consultation at the UST Legazpi hospital, who in turn, provided her the hospital and professional costs at P18000 and P10000 respectively. She said the office of congressman Salceda immediately issued her the guarantee-letter for P8,997.99 that the UST hospital scheduled her test after computation of her Philhealth coverage at P5,500. Her attending doctor issued her a discount of P4000 from her P10000 professional fee, Boyonas added.

Mrs. Boyonas recalled the colposcopy test for P28000 was to her unthinkable, the reason that delayed her to submit for the test until a concerned journalist who does not want to be identified helped her to secure assistance at Congressman Salceda’s office.

Added to her woes was her Philhealth contribution which the UST Legazpi Hospital discovered to have no contribution the past two years. She also discovered that even her Pag-ibig and SSS records did not also have contributions at all despite her employer regular deductions from her salary.

Mrs. Boyonas confessed she was separated with her first husband in Manila in 2016 even before she had her first baby, absence of support. 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, saying with P700 in cash, a boarding house owner pathetically allowed her to stay without deposit while looking for a job.

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

According to Mrs. Boyonas, she has yet to get the result of her colposcopy test absence of the P6000 balance for the Doctor’s professional fee.


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