Anti-Hospital Deposit Law violators could be fined up to P5M under Cong Duterte's bill

If Davao City 1st district Rep. Paolo Duterte would have his way, he would raise up to P5 million the proscribed fines for hospitals and clinics that violate the Anti-Hospital Deposit Law.

Davao City 1st district Rep. Paolo Duterte (left) and his father, former president Rodrigo Duterte (Facebook)

For this purpose, Duterte led the filing of House Bill (HB) No.3046. The measure seeks to amend Republic Act (RA) No.10932 in terms of the penalties imposed to violators.

It also seeks to include a provision mandating the establishment of a government hotline where the public can immediately call to get assistance regarding violations of the law.

According to Duterte and his co-authors, "Hospitals, in general, are duty bound to provide care and treatment to those who are injured or suffering."

“The asserts the rights of an individual to be admitted to any hospital and be given basic emergency care without being asked to hand over an advance payment outright. This is in consonance with the Hippocratic Oath that physicians take, pledging to help the sick to the best of their ability and knowledge,” they said.

Batas Pambansa (BP) 702 makes it unlawful for any hospital or medical clinic to demand deposits or advance payments for the confinement or treatment of patients in emergency and serious cases.

Certain provisions of BP 702 have been amended by the Anti-Hospital Deposit Law or RA No.10932, and increased the penalties on hospital employees and officials violating the law. It penalizes hospital employees or medical practitioners found guilty of violating the Anti-Hospital Deposit Law with fines of P100,000 to P300,000 and/or imprisonment of six months to two years.

The same law also imposes higher penalties of imprisonment of four to six years, and
a fine of P500,000 to P1 million, or both, on directors or officers of hospitals or clinics responsible for implementing policies or instructions that violate the Anti-Hospital Deposit Law.

Under HB No.3046, a hospital employee, official or medical practitioner found violating the Anti-Hospital Deposit Law will be fined between P500,000 and P1 million or imprisoned from four to six years, or both, upon the discretion of the courts.

If the courts find that the violation was committed as a result of the medical facility’s established policy, or upon instructions of its management, the director or officer responsible shall be penalized with imprisonment of six to 12 years and/or fined P2 million to P5 million under the bill.

The measure also adds a provision that would allow the filing of administrative cases against erring hospital employees and officials with the corresponding penalty of suspension, cancellation, or revocation of their professional licenses.

This is on top of the revocation of the medical facility’s license to operate by the DOH after three repeated violations of the Anti-Hospital Deposit Law arising from an established policy or instructions of its management.

The bills states that the president, chairman, board of directors, or trustees, and other officers shall also be held solidarily liable for damages the court may award to the patient-complainant.

Benguet lone district Rep. Eric Yap and ACT-CIS Party-list Reps. Edvic Yap and Jeffrey Soriano served as the bill's co-authors.

Former president Rodrigo Duterte, father of Rep. Duterte, signed RA No.10932 into law in 2017.