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November 13, 2017


It is expensive to get sick. Most of the time symptoms go unnoticed and once it does, curing the illness is costly. Inside a St. Clare convent in Manila along Beata Street, is a clinic run by Franciscan Missionaries of Mary. They offer therapeutic massages (hilot), ventosa, acupressure, and acupuncture. Their clientele ranges from the poor to those who can afford such treatment. This clinic was set up during the 50s by the Franciscan Missionaries of Mary as a place for alternative medicine. They saw this as an answer to the high cost of western medicine and treatment. Their vision mission touches on health ministry as a way to serve the poorest of the poor. The clinic is supported by donations (for clinic supplies, alcohol, cotton, needles, utilities, fuel, and food).

The nuns are assisted by community health workers. These workers are taught therapeutic massages and undergo training for acupuncture.

Most of their customers are stroke patients. Usually, acupuncture causes muscles to relax, a treatment that patients suffering from stroke, direly needs. Acupuncture also helps in blood circulation to help restore sensation to areas affected by stroke.

Customers are required to pay for their own needles for treatment. Usually, it costs Php 300 and it is usually used thrice by the same customer.

Duterte signs Anti-Hospital Deposit Law

Last August 3, President Rodrigo Roa Duterte quietly signed Republic Act No. 10932, imposing penalties on hospitals or clinics that decline patients who can’t pay the initial deposit. Under this law, any official, medical practitioner, or employee of any hospital or medical clinic can be punished by a prison sentence not less than 6 months and a day to two years. Penalties shall not go below Php 100,000 – 300,000. On the third violation, it can result in the hospital or clinic’s revocation of health license to operate under Department of Health (DOH).

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