LOOK: Pampanga hospital designates specific wing for OFWs

MANILA, Philippines – A government hospital in San Fernando, Pampanga will allocate a space specifically to accommodate the needs of overseas Filipino workers (OFW). 

ACTS-OFW Representative Aniceto Bertiz said that Pampanga’s Jose B. Lingad Memorial Regional Hospital will be the first of several state-run hospitals that will set up an “OFW wing”. 

JBL Memorial Regional Hospital head Dr Monserrat Chichioco said services for OFWs in “catastrophic cases” such as hemodialysis and chemotherapy would be free of charge. Outgoing OFWs may also have their pre-employment medical examination (PEME) here. 

Photo from the Office of Representative Aniceto Bertiz
Photo from the Office of Representative Aniceto Bertiz

Other services included are medical check up, psychological treatment, and provision of medicines for the workers and their immediate family. They will also accommodate referrals for laboratory services that are not available in local hospitals. 

Government agencies will sign a memorandum of agreement on September 7 to formalize the plans of establishing the OFW wing of regional hospitals. 

The agencies signing the agreement include the Department of Health, the Department of Labor and Employment, and the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration. Bertiz, Pampanga Second District Representative Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and Governor Lilia Pineda will also sign the agreement.

JBL has a proposed budget of P578.44 million for 2018. 

Bertiz said that the basic medical examination usually costs around P500 to P1,000 but the government may subsidize it so that OFWs would only have to pay around P200. This basic PEME is already accepted in countries in the United Arab Emirates and Hong Kong.  – Rappler.com 


Patty Pasion

Patty leads the Rappler+ membership program. She used to be a Rappler multimedia reporter who covered politics, labor, and development issues of vulnerable sectors.