Albert Francis E. Domingo, MD

my flight of ideas

How the Law Looks at the History of Health Care

Posted on | December 8, 2010 | No Comments

This excerpt from Professional Services v. Agana (G.R. No. 126297) is telling of how Philippine Law (as symbolized by our Supreme Court which decided the case) views the history of health care:

Until the mid-nineteenth century, hospitals were generally charitable institutions, providing medical services to the lowest classes of society, without regard for a patient’s ability to pay. Those who could afford medical treatment were usually treated at home by their doctors. However, the days of house calls and philanthropic health care are over. The modern health care industry continues to distance itself from its charitable past and has experienced a significant conversion from a not-for-profit health care to for-profit hospital businesses.

(emphasis supplied)

I find myself initially disagreeing, but in some ways also in reluctant surrender to this external perspective (relative to the medical profession) on how health care has been turning from charity into pecuniary. The numbers as regards health care expenditures speak for themselves, and have given credence to the above 2007 decision penned by Justice Sandoval-Gutierrez.

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