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Sickly maid grateful, but says she doesn’t need cash aid from fellow workers

20 July 2020

By Vir B. Lumicao

Melinda gets off her sick bed to visit OWWA and thank them for their help

A sacked sickly Filipina domestic worker who has generated overwhelming sympathy after The SUN wrote about her $51,000 hospital bill has rejected an offer by fellow helpers to raise funds for her.

Melinda, not her real name, said on Sunday, Jul 19, that she was deeply touched by the outpouring of support from the OFWs, but declined their offer as she had applied for a waiver of her bill at Queen Elizabeth Hospital.

She is now awaiting the approval of her application for fee waiver following her interview by the head of the hospital’s Medical Social Services Unit last Friday, Jul 17.

“Sir, for my sake please make it clear na nailapit ko po yung documents ko sa mismong head ng Social Services, kasi hinintay po ako talaga for interview niyon. Bukas ko po malalaman ang approval ng Social Services po,” Melinda said in a message.

But she extended her thanks to the dozens of several individuals and groups, including the Philippine Alliance of Hong Kong, who offered to raise money for her medical bill.

Many offers of help were posted in the comments section of the article on her plight that came out in The SUN, and generated more than 2,000 “likes” on Facebook. Several others sent personal messages asking for her bank account or online account number.

Today, Jul 20, Melinda went to see Welfare Officer Virsie Tamayao, who helped her apply for the fee waiver, visa extension, and financial assistance from the Akap program for displaced overseas Filipino workers of the Department of Labor and Employment.

Tamayao said the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration would also reimburse Melinda’s visa extension cost.
Tamayao's generous food donation overwhelmed Melinda

Earlier, Owwa also sent food packs to Melinda, who is resting under doctor’s orders in a hostel in Tsim Sha Tsui.
Tamayao earlier expressed misgivings about the fundraising for Melinda, saying she was confident the fee waiver that they sought would be granted.

This is in line with what Hong Kong legislator Fernando Cheung said in an earlier interview with The SUN, that public hospitals would not refuse to treat terminated migrant workers, and would not pursue them for an unpaid bill incurred while they were out of job.
Melinda was confined for five nights in the Yau Ma Tei hospital after she ran a fever, experienced heavy bleeding and suffered fainting spells. She was diagnosed with low hemoglobin levels and with a pelvic infection

During her stay, she underwent various procedures and treatment including CT scan, ultrasound, blood transfusion, blood tests and various other laboratory examinations.

Melinda reached out to The SUN for help, and she was linked up with Tamayao.


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