Responsive Ad Slot

Latest

Buhay Pinay

Features

People

Sports

Philippine News

Join us at Facebook!

Dismissed maid slapped with huge hospital bill after getting sick

16 July 2020

By Vir B. Lumicao

Melinda was billed $51k for her 4-day stay at Queen Elizabeth Hospital because her visa expired while she was confined

She should have been lucky. Melinda (not her real name), a Filipina domestic worker who was fired by her employer on Jun 30, found a new employer the very next day after she was sent packing.

But she suddenly fell ill and was confined for five nights this week at Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Yaumatei, preventing her from extending her visa on Jul 14 at Immigration Department.

Because she was considered as no longer entitled to free medical care at a public hospital,
Melinda was not given any of the medicines prescribed by doctors, and worse, was slapped with a $51,000 bill for her four-night stay.

Pindutin para sa detalye

Compounding her problem was the doctors’ diagnosis that she had a low hemoglobin count in her blood, and was also suffering from pelvic infection, for which she needed a four-day bed rest.

But luck was still on her side, as welfare officer Virsie Tamayao of the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration who was informed by The SUN of her plight, decided to accompany her to the Immigration Department tomorrow.

Melinda was discharged today, Jul 16, from the hospital after she sought treatment for her dizzy spells. Still weak and queasy, she was shocked when told that she would be charged the full cost of her hospital stay.
Her bill represents the cost of her confinement, medical examinations and procedures including CT scan, ultrasound, blood transfusion, swab and various laboratory tests in the hospital.

Melinda said she was taken by a friend to the hospital last Sunday evening as she was running a fever, having profuse bleeding and fainting spells.

She appealed for help early Monday morning to The SUN, which in turn referred her to  Tamayao.




After speaking with Melinda, OWWA’s top Hong Kong representative contacted the maid’s previous agency and reminded it of its responsibilities to look after the worker’s needs, including her discharge from hospital and, if needed, her repatriation.

Tamayao then instructed Melinda to contact the social welfare officer at the hospital on her discharge, so she could request a waiver of her bill.

However, Melinda said she was informed that a waiver could not be guaranteed because she was no longer entitled to free medical care because of her status.
An aunt, who is also a domestic helper here, fetched Melinda from the hospital and took her to a boarding house where she could rest as prescribed by the doctor.

The helper said she was terminated by her third employer, who lives in Tuen Mun, after serving her for only more than a month. She said the employer told her to leave the house at midnight on the day she was informed her services were no longer needed.

“Sobra po pinagdaanan ko sa pangatlong amo ko. Bago ako pinababa, hanggang 12 midnight ako pinagtrabaho. Tapos yung lola noon itinutulak ako,” Melinda said.


She said she was made to eat only noodles for lunch, and rarely had a meal with rice. Worse, she was forbidden from using the toilet in the morning until everyone in the household had finished using it.

But, of course, she said she could not comply with this order because she had to wake up early, and could not be expected to control her bladder.

She hopes this time around, her new employer will be kind-hearted.


Don't Miss