TACLOBAN CITY- The Samar Provincial Hospital has been declared by the Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (Philhealth) as the second hospital in the region in so far as complying it no balance billing (NBB) policy. This was revealed by Cynthia Palileo, acting administrative officer of the said Catbalogan City-based hospital, who said that this achievement would only inspire them to work harder.

“This is the very first time that we have achieved this kind of performance in so far as the implementation of the no balance billing policy of the Philhealth,” Palileo, reached on her mobile phone, said. According to the official, since the NBB policy was introduced by the Philhealth in 2011, the Samar Provincial Hospital has been ranked in the lowest rung.

“But with the perseverance, hard-work and determination of Governor (Sharee Ann) Tan, we’re able to reach this far which is a big milestone to us. And obviously, this achievement will serve as our inspiration to work harder to either maintain the distinction or surpass it,” Palileo said. Palileo, during the interview, could not say as to how many patients, mostly coming from poor families, benefited the NBB at the Samar Provincial Hospital.

The NBB is a policy of the Philhealth mandating that no fees would be charged or paid by patients enrolled under the said government agency. In the case at the Samar Provincial Hospital, patients who availed the NBB policy were enrolled under the provincial government’s sponsored-Philhealth program. This means, it is the provincial government under Gov. Tan that pays the premium of the patients. Palileo said that one of the thrusts of the administration of Gov. Tan is to ensure that all her constituents, particularly the marginalized and poor people, could avail medical services.

With this thrust, the number of patients at the provincial hospital has noticeably increased, she added. The Samar Provincial Hospital is a 100-bed capacity but could see its expansion to accommodate the number of patients, Palileo said. The hospital, as part of improving its services to the people, have seen major repair and now equip with needed equipment. Also, it is now manned by efficient personnel. At present, there are 25 doctors working 24 hours at the hospital staffed with more than 200 personnel. (JOEY A. GABIETA)