Baby dies after hospital allegedly denied her ICU admission without deposit; mother demands justice

Image capture from GMA News' YouTube video
  • Mother seeking justice against hospital over death of one-month-old daughter
  • She claimed hospital asked her for a downpayment, deposit before her child’s ICU admission
  • Hospital officials defended themselves, said they would be willing to face complaint

PAGADIAN CITY, Zamboanga del Sur – A mother is seeking justice against Pagadian City Mendero Hospital for the death of her one-month-old daughter; saying its no-deposit-, no-admission policy deprived her of timely medical care.

According to Rebecca Iyas, they were advised by Chelsey’s attending physician to transfer her from the pediatric ward to the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) where she could be better monitored after being admitted to the hospital for high fever on Monday.

Iyas claimed that before her daughter could be transferred, she had to pay a P10,000 deposit. While she managed to raise the amount, the hospital also allegedly asked her for another P10,000 for medical apparatuses in the ICU.

Before she could raise the second P10,000, Chelsey had already passed away.

Adelaida Iyas, Chelsey’s grandmother, said they eventually used the money to settle the bill because the hospital wouldn’t release her granddaughter’s remains.

“Hindi kami papalabasin, sir, kapag hindi kami nakapagbayad ng bill. Temporary nga lang [may] Philhealth naman ‘yung bata. Dapat daw i-full namin ‘yung bayad na mahigit P10,000 para makauwi kami sa gabing ‘yun. Ang bitbit kong P10,000 na para sa ICU, ibinayad ko na lang,” she told GMA News.

[Sir, they wouldn’t let us out if we couldn’t pay the bill. Even though my daughter had temporary Philhealth coverage. They insisted that we pay the P10,000-plus bill in full so that we could go home that night. I ended up using the P10,000 that I brought for the ICU as payment instead.]

For his part, medical director Dr. Jaime Navaro explained that they only require a P10,000 deposit for ICU admissions which could always be then negotiated.

“Mula pa noon, ma-admit man ang pasyente, wala talagang deposit. ‘Yun lang sa ICU, noon pa ‘yan may ten thousand pero consumable ‘yan. Magagamit ‘yan pero case to case basis. Minsan, mapapakiusapan naman lalo na kapag nakikiusap sa amin,” he said.

[As in the past, there is really no deposit for a patient who will be admitted. In the ICU, there is a P10,000 deposit but it’s consumable. It will be used but that’s on a case-to-case basis. Sometimes, it can be negotiated if they talk to us.]

Chelsey’s attending physician, Dr. Helen Maño, also defended herself with the decision to have her transferred to the ICU.

“Sabi ko na mas maganda malagay siya sa ICU para matutukan. Although that time sinabi ko sa kanila na kahit ilagay man natin sa ICU, hindi siya 100 percent na mase-save natin. At least the chance na makaka-survive siya kung mamo-monitor siya nang husto ay tataas nang kaunti,” she said.

[I said it would be better for her to be admitted in the ICU so she could be monitored. Although that time I also said that it’s not 100 percent that we can save her even if we put her in the ICU. At least the chance she could survive if she is being monitored diligently will increase her chances a bit.

The hospital also expressed willingness to conduct a probe for any possible lapses, and to face Iyas’ complaint.

Here’s a video shared by GMA News: