The Philippine Veterans Affairs Office (PVAO) in coordination with the Cebu Provincial Government, Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) and Department of Health (DOH) is now working on a memorandum of agreement (MOA) with private hospitals in Cebu City and Cebu Province.
The MOA is about the Veterans Hospitalization Program (VHP) to be jointly administered by the PVAO and Veterans Memorial Medical Center (VMMC).
This is a hospitalization program providing medical care benefits to Filipino veterans and their dependents through VMMC and other PVAO accredited government and private hospitals nationwide.
The MOA proposes to certify veterans and their dependents eligible for admission in the accredited private hospitals.
It also proposes to pay the hospitalization, medical care and treatment of the veterans and their dependents based on actual billing net of other applicable discounts but not to exceed P1,500 per day up to a maximum of 45 days confinement per patient per year.
The MOA also stipulated that it shall be PVAO’s responsibility to send the reimbursement check by registered mail.
World War II (WWII) veterans and their dependents, post WWII veterans and soldiers killed in action and their dependents are eligible to avail of VHP.
This may be availed of in PhilHealth accredited government hospitals, eye and dialysis centers and dental clinics.
At the first coordination meeting held in Provincial Capitol recently, PVAO officials also enumerated other benefits in the VHP which includes daily in-patient hospital subsidy at P1,500 per day of hospital confinement to maximum of 45 days per patient per year.
This will be paid or reimbursed by PVAO-VMMC to the accredited hospital upon receipt by VMMC of billing documents.
Other benefit includes subsidy for selected medical procedures usually availed of by veterans and their dependents.
PVAO Cebu Administrator Ret. Lt. Gen. Ernesto G. Carolina in a message read by Natalie Labang of PVAO Cebu said the over-all budget for VMMC has been increased to P50 million for 2016 to include and sustain this project.
She said PVAO proposed another P20 million for 2017.
Hospital representatives expressed a few concerns during the meeting.
They said they are willing to help the veterans but they need help in collecting unpaid excess bills from patients.
Others expressed concerns regarding troublesome patients and families who intimidate them with legal action.
PVAO officials from Manila assured the veterans and hospital groups their concerns will be brought to the attention of PVAO-VMMC authorities.
Carolina hoped the MOA will be finalized in the second meeting in Cebu next month.
Veterans also have pension benefits, non-pension benefits and death benefits for surviving dependents.
Assistant Claims Division Chief Ofelia Pascua said pension benefits are extended to 65-year old veterans or their surviving at P5000 a month.
The first coordination meeting was organized by Cebu Province, VMMC, DILG and DOH.
Some 21 private hospitals and 15 provincial hospitals are slated to sign the MOA. (Fides Palicte)