First project: National Children's Hospital
Our first destination was the National Children's hospital (NCH) in Manila. We did not know what to expect because we had not made an appointment in advance. When we mentioned our intentions, they were immediately enthusiastic. We were welcomed by the CEO who told us about the mission of the NCH, a hospital which is partly funded by the government and partly by donations.
Health insurance in the Philippines
Philippine Health Insurance (PhilHealth) is the national health insurance program in the Philippines. PhilHealth's goal is to provide a means for the healthy to pay for the medical care of the sick and for those who can not afford their medical care. The truth is that not everybody is enrolled in this national health insurance program. It is not clear how many Filipinos are covered for healthcare by the PhilHealth. Besides, many costs are not covered within this insurance. Subsequently, many health costs must be paid by the people themselves. Many families can not afford this.
About the National Children's Hospital
Most of the children treated at the NCH, are children whose parents have less or no money for medical expenses. The government is funding a part of this care and another part is funded through donations from charities, initiatives and companies.
The hospital houses about 200 children per day with different diseases. After the CEO of the hospital told us about the essence of the hospital, it was clear to us how necessary donations are for these poor children. This became more obvious when they gave us a tour through the National Children’s hospital.
A supervisor showed us the small and crowded rooms where children lie with different diseases, from leukemia to chronic diseases and disorders. In most of the rooms it was hot because there was no airconditioning. It was heartbreaking to see a lot of them suffering. In many cases the chance that they will not survive is high. Especially, some kids with leukemia were diagnosed with “poor risk”. This means that the chance to survive is low.
During our visit, we have seen shocking things and with a lump in our throats we walked further through the hospital. It is not comparable to how our hospitals looks like. The rooms are full, small, hot, not very hygienic and the equipments are old or not even present. Behind the building we visited, they are currently building a new hospital. This is done so the hospital can withstand strong earthquakes.
However, there is not enough money to complete this new hospital. They are still waiting for donations from individuals, organizations and the government. Every time the National Children’s hosptital receives money, it is going to the construction, equipment or medical care of the patients. Fortunately, a few floors of the new hospital are already funded. However, there is not yet enough money to provide the care that is needed and to finish the building.
Unfortunately, still too many kids fighting for their life do not survive. On the other hand, it is beautiful to see how many lives of these poor childrens are already saved and will be saved by the hospital and their hard working employees. The child on the picture below was ready to leave the hospital! He was very happy to go home and gave us a high five.
Our and your help is more than welcome!! Do you want to help the hospital and the children in their fight? Let us know via our contact form!