13 November 2008
Revoke the license of Mafiosi-like GAMCA clinics
Arroyo govt., DOH must seriously implement issued order putting an end to "referral decking system"
Migrante-Middle East, an alliance of overseas Filipino workers' organizations in the Middle East is calling the Arroyo administration thru the Department of Health (DoH) to seriously implement its administrative order putting an end to the so called "referral decking system" practiced by the member clinics of the Gulf Cooperation Council-(GCC) Accredited Medical Clinics Association (Gamca).
"DOH Administrative Order No. 167 was issued on August 2004 to put an end to the referral decking system which until now is being unlawfully practice by GAMCA-member clinics. The DOH should seriously implement, in full force, its order and punish those clinics that are defiant," said John Leonard Monterona, Migrante-ME regional coordinator.
Migrante-ME said in practice, GAMCA operates like a mafia; it ensures that all its member-clinics would be given enough allocation and share on exorbitant OFWs medical fees.
"The recruitment agency will refer the aspiring OFW to GAMCA, which in turn GAMCA will designate a member-clinic for the medical check-up and formalities of an aspiring OFWs only after paying hundreds of peso for the ''referral" made by GAMCA. This is a clear case of extortion," Monterona added.
Monterona added since 2001 when the referral decking system was implemented, GAMCA-member clinics have 'legalized' extortion till the present defying DOH order to halt its operation.
"Like a mafia, GAMCA-member clinics are usually conniving with each other by intentionally failing the medical test of would-be OFW and refer the OFW to other GAMCA-member clinic for another round of medical test," Monterona added.
Monterona further said even those who are healthy would be surprised to read if their medical test results would indicate that he or she has a spot on their lungs, or he or she should need to clean his teeth, or he needs to undergo an electro-cardio graph (ECG) test.
"All these entail additional fees and these are clear case of 'legalized' extortions perpetrated by GAMCA-member clinics," Monterona continued.
"What is worst is that if one challenges the medical test results or findings, GAMCA-member clinics will not give you for instance the negative film of your x-ray or other test results, this is what exactly I personally experienced to a GAMCA-member clinic," Monterona continued.
Monterona ended saying though the DOH under the executive branch is acting too late on this unlawful referral decking system practiced by GAMCA clinics; its seriousness to implement it's own administrative order will be tested if it commence revoking the license and accreditation of these GAMCA-clinics, not just mere issuance of warnings, against those that are still practicing the deceitful referral decking system. # # #
John Leonard Monterona
Migrante Middle East regional coordinator
Mobile No.: 00966 564 97 8012