Sunday, February 28, 2010

Pawnshops in Hospitals, a good idea?

What if hospitals have pawnshops inside the building?  Wouldn't it be weird?  But for a very obvious reason, allow me to enlighten thee.  First, it is not uncommon that many of our fellow Filipinos cannot afford a good hospital service.  Secondly, these people, to the best of their ability and capacity would do anything they can to afford their loved-ones the best hospital care possible.

However, having little-to-zero cash, it is almost impossible.  Our poor fellows are not necessarily empty-handed.  Like many, they also own valuables like jewelries, electronics, transportation, and land titles to name a few.  These are assets as well and are commonly accepted in pawnshops in exchange for cash.

If cockfight stadiums have pawnshops beside ticket booths, why not be more socially responsible and put pawnshops in hospitals? For the lesser fortunate to benefit from such, I suggest there must be some tweaks in the pawn rules to follow.  First, zero-to-very low interest rates (relative to existing commercial pawnshops) only.  Second, longer and more flexible terms of payment.  Third, should cash be available before the pawn due date, a guaranteed discount on interest should be offered.  And fourth, most importantly, the pawning process should be seamlessly incorporated to the hospital billing and administration processes.  Once an asset is pawned as collateral for a hospital admission, the patient (or the family) will be granted full hospital service related to the patient's admission requirements.

Imagine yourself, the doctor hands in the prescription, the medicine is available in the pharmacy but you know you don't have enough cash to cover for additional medicines for another week's stay in the hospital.  You have nobody to lend you anything, but you have your farm's land title kept deep in the closet.  How would you feel if you can just bring your land title in the hospital as collateral?

What do you readers think?  Has this been done before?  If not, will this work?

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