OFWs are highly acknowledged individuals worldwide, known for their professional skills and abilities and for persevering in their field of work. In addition, OFWs are considered modern-day heroes for their beneficial contribution to the socio-economic development of the Philippines. Despite that, OFWs gamble with their life by working abroad to provide a better life for their families.
Thus, President Rodrigo Roa Duterte has fast-tracked the establishment of the OFW Hospital, built to commend OFWs’ contributions. Through the OFW Hospital, OFWs and their dependents can now enjoy free medical services once they are ill or injured. So if you’re intrigued by the services and programs of the OFW Hospital, keep on reading.
What is the OFW Hospital?
Boasted as the first and one-of-a-kind facility, the OFW Hospital aims to deliver free medical care and health services to Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) and their legal dependents. This 7-story medical facility stands on a 1.5-hectare land granted by the Provincial Government of Pampanga. On December 7, 2021, the palace issued Executive Order No. 154 to expedite the construction of the OFW Hospital.
Then, President Rodrigo Roa Duterte inspected the facility on May 1, 2022, and launched it on May 2, 2022, to serve as a polyclinic before transitioning by the end of June 2022, as fully operational, according to the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE). Although the OFW Hospital only offers standard treatment and outpatient services, it will be furnished with medical equipment once fully operational. The facility will include the latest medical tools, such as Dialysis Equipment, Computerized Tomography (CT) scan, and Magnetic Resonance Imaging (RMI), as per Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III.
In addition, an Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) and Malasakit Center desk is set up inside the facility to ensure the provision of adequate assistance to OFWs. This project is also made possible with the partnership of DOLE, Bloomberry Cultural Foundation, which funded P500 million for the facility construction, and the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (Pagcor), which provided P200 million for the acquisition of hospital equipment.
Furthermore, the Philippine General Hospital (PGH) and DOLE have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), indicating that PGH will assist in training the administrative and clinical personnel, hospital equipment planning and procurement, and process flow devising for both clinical and fiscal. Thus, the facility ensures providing the utmost healthcare services. Currently, the OFW Hospital is in San Fernando, Pampanga, offering a 100-bed capacity. Nonetheless, the government is aiming to build other OFW Hospitals in varying regions in the future.
With the unwavering support and concern of President Duterte, OFWs and their dependents can now access medical services through the OFW Hospital. However, an individual should fall under the following eligibility requirements to access the benefits provided by the OFW Hospital:
- Current OFWs
- Former OFWs (for good not exceeding 3 years since last active OWWA membership contribution)
- Regardless of Status (OWWA active/inactive, undocumented workers)
- Regardless of age
Eligible Dependents of OFW
- Legal Spouse (with Marriage Certificate)
- Minor/ Incapacitated child
- Parents of OFWs rely on their support
- Minor sibling of unmarried OFWs (below 18 years old)
Benefits to OFWs and Beneficiaries
Since the said facility is a government-owned hospital, it will provide free medical services to OFWs and their dependents, especially to the members of the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA). Through this, eligible individuals can enjoy standard health services and comprehensive medical care, which involves preventive measures and treatment options.
Moreover, the OFW Hospital provides the said benefits, ensuring that workers are physically fit and have good overall well-being while working abroad. Thus, OFWs can work effectively without being ill or getting injured while performing their job, which can cause delayed work schedules and employers’ money due to hospitalization or taking days off from work for having poor health conditions. In short, the OFW Hospital is beneficial as it ensures OFWs are physically fit to work.
Programs and Services
For OFWs, it is essential to keep healthy well-being while working overseas. So with the establishment of the OFW Hospital, OFWs can now ensure access to medical programs and services beneficial when ill or injured.
The following are accessible for free:
- Dental Service
- Dental extraction
- Dental Implant
- Medical consultation
- Medical Service
- Laboratory tests
Additionally, the OFW hospital provides a wide range of services and programs to support OFWs in their daily lives, such as free consultation on different health programs and insurance plans. The facility also provides coverage for pregnancy and pre-existing illnesses.
On the other hand, the OFW Hospital is currently providing outpatient consultation, diagnostic and laboratory services. As stated on their official Facebook page, any related services on surgery, operation, pregnancy, RT PCR, and pre-employment laboratory tests are not in the outpatient department (OPD). So OFWs are advised to stay tuned for the OFW Hospital announcement on the additional medical services they’ll soon be offering.
Booking an Online Appointment for OFW Hospital
Considering that the present OFW Hospital is only in San Fernando, Pampanga, eligible individuals who wish to access the facility programs and services require booking an online appointment.
Also, due to the increasing volume of individuals booking confirmed appointments, the OFW Hospital will not entertain walk-ins if the booked online appointments reach the maximum capacity of patients on that day.
So it is ideal to book an online appointment before visiting the OFW Hospital since they only accommodate 30 patients per day, from 8:00 am – 3:00 pm from Monday to Friday.
To book an online appointment for OFW Hospital, you may visit their official website and tap on the upper tab, indicating Click Here to Set an Appointment. You can also visit their Facebook page and click the provided link for the online appointment or click the Book Now button. However, if you’re encountering problems with the online appointment booking link, contact OFW Hospital for further details.
Accessing OFW Hospital Programs and Services
Although the OFW Hospital stated on a post that they accept walk-ins of up to 15 patients per day, from 12 noon to 3 pm, booking an online appointment ensures a slot on the day of your visit. So booking a confirmed appointment online is ideal, especially if you’re coming outside of Pampanga.
But if you have booked an online appointment the same day you’re visiting, bring a valid ID such as a passport and the OWWA membership official payment receipt to access the programs and services of the OFW Hospital. For the dependents of the OFWs, bring a marriage contract for the spouse, while birth certificates for the child, siblings, and parents to prove their relationship.
Photos: Inspection of the OFW Hospital by President Duterte
Here are some pictures of the OFW Hospital when President Duterte came by for an inspection visit to check out the facility in Pampanga:
Video: MAY 1 inauguration ng OFW HOSPITAL sa Pampanga, kasado na!
For more details on the OFW Hospital, watch the video below:
As discussed in the video, the OFW Hospital is the first of its kind, catering medical services specifically for OFWs and their dependents. According to Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III, the employees hired by the OFW Hospital prioritize former OFWs or their children.
OFWs and their dependents who are ill or injured can access the services and programs of the OFW Hospital for free, with no expenses. Thus, the OFW Hospital doesn’t only provide free medical services to OFWs but provides them with another workplace, especially for those who lose their job overseas in the medical field.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are some of the questions answered about the OFW Hospital:
1. Who can avail OFW Hospital?
The OFW Hospital is available to current and former OFWs, land-based or sea-based, regardless of their status and age. In addition, OFWs legal spouse, minor/ incapacitated child, parents, and minor siblings for unmarried can access the OFW Hospital.
2. What is the purpose of OFW Hospital?
The primary purpose of the OFW Hospital is to provide free medical services to sick or injured OFWs and their legal dependents.
3. Where is the OFW Hospital in the Philippines?
As of writing, there is only one OFW Hospital in the Philippines located in San Fernando, Pampanga, near PEO/GSIS.
4. Who funded the OFW Hospital?
The construction budget for the OFW Hospital amounted to P500 million, funded by the Bloomberry Cultural Foundation and built on a 1.5-hectare land donated by the Provincial Government of Pampanga. Pagcor also provided P200 million for the procurement of hospital equipment.
5. What are the healthcare services offered by the OFW Hospital?
The OFW Hospital will provide patients primary to tertiary care and dental care. Also, the Department of Health (DOH) aims to build a training center for midwives and nurses within the facility site.
6. Can non-OFWs access the OFW Hospital?
While the facility mainly caters to OFWs and their dependents, Filipino citizens who are non-OFWs can also access treatment at the OFW Hospital, given that they receive a referral from an overseas worker. Patients referred by employment agencies for foreign jobs and government employees and diplomats can access the OFW Hospital.
7. Does the OFW Hospital cover medical emergency cases from overseas?
Yes, the facility will provide emergency rooms for OFWs working overseas and returning to the country to receive immediate medical care.
8. Are the checkups in OFW Hospital free to OFWs?
Yes, the pre-employment and post-employment medical examinations are accessible for free to OFWs.
9. What’s inside the OFW Hospital?
The 7-story hospital includes a 100-bed capacity, 10 consultation rooms, 7 examination rooms, an OPD, laboratory, X-ray department, and pharmacy.
10. Do I need an active OWWA membership to access the OFW Hospital?
Whether your OWWA membership is active or inactive, you can access the OFW Hospital. However, having an active OWWA membership will give you more advantages in availing of programs and services.
To sum up, the OFW Hospital will benefit OFWs and their dependents by providing them with free medical services. The facility also serves as a workplace for former OFWs and their children as prioritized in hiring.
Furthermore, Filipino citizens can access affordable medical care at the OFW Hospital, which may not cost anything, given that they’re eligible for free services. In the future, the government plans to build other OFW Hospitals across the country, ensuring a better and healthier life for OFWs, their families, and all Filipinos.
OFW Hospital San Fernando, Pampanga
Operating Hours: 8:00 am – 5:00 pm, Monday to Friday
Address: McArthur Highway, Brgy. Sindalan San Fernando, Philippines
Telephone Number: firstname.lastname@example.org
Facebook Page: https://web.facebook.com/OFW-Hospital-101593242553179