Su-pa-Care’s Supa Fear & Supa Cash: A seafarer’s medical dilemma

SUPA2

Let me be clear. I wrote this #JuanVoice blog post not to pull-down a certain medical clinic but to highlight the fact that there is always a room for improvement and that our seafarers and seafarer aspirants deserve nothing but fair, professional and quality service from any medical institution.

So let me share a personal experience of a seafarer friend, whom few days ago had approached me, talked about his medical examination and raked over the ashes.

My apology that I need to protect identities. In so doing, I’ll be using pseudonyms and in the recorded voice file I received, I altered the tone of voices before posting it here.

Marco, a former Costa crewmember and now part of Norwegian Cruise Lines, resides in Baguio City. I know him as a responsible and loving father of his family. Dreaming to go back to sea so he could provide a more comfortable life and a bright future for his family, he is persistent to complete all documentary requirements of his current employer.

Well, everything went fine… if only the conduct of Marco’s medical exam didn’t turn out to be a real can of worms.

Supa care

Marco started his medical examination last January 30, 2017. He diligently submitted himself to Super-pa-care, a ‘famous’ medical screening clinic located in Ermita, Manila.

After completion of his medical exam, he went back to Baguio and waited for the result being posted by the clinic online.

But it was only in March 22, 2017 when he first observed that his medical exam was initially concluded. He opened Super-pa-care’s website to check his medical examination’s result and the status written was ‘ Temporarily Unfit’.

22 mar

On March 23, 2017, 0600H, he had checked the said website again but was more surprised to see that his status was changed from ‘ Temporarily Unfit’ to ‘Pending’ due to ‘x-ray findings and pulmo clearance’. Thus, he’s recommended for ‘re-read c/o super-pa-care; for follow-up; clarification on clearance;’

23mar

The incident ignited our deep chat in Facebook. The guy asked me what to do.

“Call them and asked what happened. It might be a clerical error only.” I replied.

“I had been calling them several times already, sir but to no avail,” he said.

After some hours, however, Marco told me that he was finally able to contact Super-pa-care but they don’t have any explanation about why his ‘Fit’ status was changed to ‘Pending’, i.e. clerical error only. They didn’t extend even any apology and he was just instructed to go back and personally ‘close the case’.

From Baguio to Manila, one needs to endure more or less 6 hours of long drive. Aboard an air-conditioned bus, Marco is mindful of the kind of future he and his beloved ones deserve to enjoy. He knows that as long as he works hard at sea, they won’t be impoverished.

That moment in the City of Pines though, Marco was chilled by bigger challenges.

His savings were drained. He lent money from many relatives and friends already – all for his medical examination to be settled yet that time. He didn’t know where to run for angels to make both ends meet again.

Moreover, a strong “supa fear” incepts on his being. I can actually feel it vibrating even though I’m overseas.

He told me his game’s over.

“Why?” I asked.

“Ano na naman kayang sakit ang ialalagay nila sakin sir? I’m afraid of more horrible things they can do to me. So better to quit. Wala na akong pera sir, eh!” he bare his heart to me.

Supa fear

As a seafarer advocate, I asked some of my friends of their personal experience dealing with and/or what they think of Super-pa-care, a leading medical screening clinic for seafarers. Though the stigma wasn’t new to me, I was still surprised to receive these kinds of feedback from them:

“Yes, super-pa-care ako [nagpa-medical] at ang biruan na tawag naming lagi doon ay super cash…”

“Well halos naman lahat dumaan jan.. Di nga lang malala yung sa akin pero nag prepare na rin ako [ng pera] bago ako magpamedical. Iba-iba rin kasing case eh..”

“Pinayuhan kami ng HR about sa medical. Kasi daw baka iilan lang samin ang makaalis nadala na sila sa previous batch na halos wala sa kalahati ang nakaalis dahil sa medical. Ang sakit diba?”

“ Si Mr. Fernando Po nagback-out. Katatapos lang siya ng medical niya. Hinihingan daw siya ng 150k for surgery kasi di raw pwede ang laki ng pusod niya.”

“Hindi naman nila sinasabi na magbayad ka nalang pero yun bang they provide a good environment na kung saan, mukhang mapipilitan ang marino na isettle nalang kesa maubos pera niya sa byahe-byahe.”

” Maraming sinisirang career si supa-pa-care… At kawawa yung mga crew na papaalis na bibigyan pa ng sakit.”

I don’t want to hang someone’s clothes in public here but those statements helped me by far understand why Marco had almost abandoned his great dreams in life.

If one enters Super-pa-care’s premises to have his medical examination, he fears that he might get in trouble (especially if those allegations are true and he has no super cash to pay so to attain a “fit to work” status).

Apparently, there’s something wrong in Super-pa-care organization’s culture.

Supa cash

pp

Unfortunately, aside from supa fear, supa cash is real.

In March 29, I was able to prove it upon receipt of a recorded voice file sent by a reliable source.

I choose not to attach it here yet because of unchecked legal repercussions.

But if you really want to listen on that particular ‘controversial’ chat, please fill-up form below. I may share it initially by sending you the downloadable link on email.

On the said recording, below select conversation made my heart bleed:

Doctor J interrogated Marco of his previous medical test & clearance conducted by a certain Dr. Taamayo.

Doctor J: Saang clinic yun?

Marco: Manila Doctors, Room 2*4.

Doctor J: Bakit ka pinaclearance?

Marco: Sabi kasi nila [Super-pa-care] dun sir, punta daw ako sa Manila Doctors. Sabi ko kanino pong doctor? Sabi niya kahit sinong nandun basta pulmo. Yun ang sabi sir…

Doctor J: Eh nagdoble bayad ka pa.

Marco: Yes sir, tas na-ultrasound pa’ko kasi sir eh..marelease ang ultrasound, siningil ako ng….

Doctor J: Linawin mo…

Marco: Siningil ako ng 2…5…2…5, sir eh..

Doctor J: Nino?

Marco: Ni Taamayo. [Super-pa-care’s nurse has referred Dr. Taamayo to Marco.]

Doctor J: Bakit 2, 5?

Marco: May clearance nadaw kasi sir. Tapos siningil niya pa ako ng 600.

Doctor J: Doctor’s fee yun?

Marco: Opo

Doctor J: ‘Nak ng p***… (Napamura si Doc)

….

Marco traveled back to Manila last March 28. He had arrived 0600H in Super-pa-care but was catered finally around 1500H in the clinic. He reported to follow-up his medical examination that day.

Evening comes. Marco had detailed more his case in our Facebook chat. He stated the following:

  1. Taamayo, who’s clinic is located on Room 2*4 of Manila Doctor’s Hospital, has made a mistake reading his x-ray result and was not even ‘kilala’ [known/accredited] by Super-pa-care. This was according to Super-pa-care during his serious inquiry about the dear doctor.
  2. For the record, Rowiwi, a Super-pa-care nurse made the referral of Dr. Taamayo since that particular day of Marco’s x-ray, no doctor was available to read the result. Marco then went to Manila Doctor’s Hospital in UN Avenue. Inside Dr. Taamayo’s clinic, he was informed by the good doctor that he’s chest was “pudpod”(worn-out). Additionally, an ultra-sound was made. He left the clinic upon paying a total of Php 4,700.00 for all services availed.
  3. Since Dr. Taamayo is not “kilala” by Super-pa-care, the medical clinic changed after a day his ‘Fit” to “Pending” medical result status (see above photo dated March 23). Marco then has advised to seek a new doctor to re-read his x-ray and perform a pulmonary test. Consequently, he was advised by Super-pa-care to go to University of Santo Tomas (UST) Hospital.
  4. Marco has no more supa cash to use in case the UST doctor would require him to undergo some more tests, just like what happened to him in Manila Doctors. He has to find again another angel in order to clear his ‘pending’ medical exam.

Early morning of March 29, Marco returned to Super-pa-care and got a #2 waiting number. Normally, Super-pa-care calls by number but he was skipped for unknown reason. Baffled, he sent me a message so I instructed him to approach the front desk and ask why he wasn’t called yet. He said that they’re even already attending person #30 during that time.

“Something’s wrong.” I said.

“Baka ine-edit pa sir yung sakit na ilalagay sa akin,” he jokingly replied.

After some hours, I learned from him that he managed to talk to the head doctor of Super-pa-care. He had heard the same doctor talked to Rowiwi, too.

“Sabi ni doctor kay Rowiwi, pag pulmonary daw wag mag-ulit ulit kasi pwede daw ako magpacheck-up sa iba at masisita sila.”

He’s endorsement to UST Hospital was then cancelled after the head doctor warned Rowiwi, but he was referred anew to a certain doctor who’s clinic can be found in Manila Medical Center.

Around 0400H Manila Time, I can feel a brimming hope from someone who fought hard for his medical exam to be dealt fairly with.

Marco reported that he and Doc J of Manila Medical Center had a good conversation. They just talked and there was no medical test conducted. Doctor J then had finally ended his almost ‘two-month old’ pending medical result.

Interestingly, you read their conversation above. Doctor J has shed some light to prove a claim that in Super-pa-care, there’s supa care and supa cash.

If only Rowiwi of Super-pa-care has been considerate of whom he refers to, Marco will not waste thousands of money, much more spend his precious time traveling from Baguio to Manila, and vice-versa.

I hope that Super-pa-care will give benefit of doubt to Marco’s case so they would be able to ameliorate their service offered to all seafarer clients.

 Supa reminder

Dear seafarers and seafarer aspirants, be very vigilant during the conduct of your medical examination. You might encounter people like Nurse Rowiwi and/or Dr. Taamayo.

Marco’s expenses burgeoned because of them. The innocent man should have used it to provide basic needs of his family.

“ Pambili pa sana ng gatas ng anak ko yun, sir.” He confided

I believe Super-pa-care is still true to its mission that they’re a reliable medical screening partner of many shipping agencies. If so, I challenge the whole organization to eradicate our supa fear and supa cash notions. Besides, your seafarer clients pay the right amount on time and they just deserve, I reiterate, nothing but fair, professional and quality service from you.

If you want to earn more, I believe it’s better to transform the Super-pa-care clinic into a super-to-care morgue. Dun po kayo manggipit sa patay,huwag sa mga katulad ni Marco na may mga pangarap sa buhay.

subjv

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What’s your #JuanVoice on this issue?

Share your thoughts by writing a comment below.

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Categories: juan voice, Opinion, Working Pinoy on Cruise Ships | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments

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10 thoughts on “Su-pa-Care’s Supa Fear & Supa Cash: A seafarer’s medical dilemma

  1. hi goodpm po s lht,gus2 ko lng pong ishare ang nging experience ko dyn s super cash n yn.s 22o lng po 7x n po akong sumasakay at ngppmedical pero itong taon lng po last feb.ngpamedical po ako dyn s clinic n yan at sbi po nla my gallbladder stone po ako at recommended is for removal,ngpunta po ako s agency ko pra manghingi ng advice pro wla dw po clang mggwa kung gus2 ko dw pong umalis kailangan ko pong mgpaopera..dahil po s kagus2han kong mkaalis agd dhl kailangan kailangan po kc single mom po ako at naubos lht ng savings ko ng mamatay nanay ko last year 2016 wla po akong ngwa kundi mgpaopera siningil po ako ng di aabot s 70k pesos at after 1wk po clear nmn nla ako pro mskit po nito ngpaopera ako at pumayag s supercash n mgpaopera kht npkamahal na sna pra s pangastos n lng nmn magiina hbng d p ako nkakaalis eh npunta dun operation n sbi ng supercare eh kailangan2 n tanggalin,pro po s ngayon naubos n pera ko dhl dyn s supercash n yan eh matagal p pla alis ko..kung alam ko lng d n sna ako pumayag s supercash n yan n magpaopera…sna ipasara n lmg yang clinic n yan n sobra mangikil s mga seafarer tpos ibang mga staff mayayabang p at msusungit…

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    • Rosa

      Leave it all to GOD ALMIGHTY, SIYA lng ang magbibigay ng matinding aksyon sa mga ganyang klaseng tao. Mga walang respeto sa mga PAGHIHIRAP,PAGSISIKAP AT SAKRIPISYO ng mga OFW. Sa halip na magmalasakit , INGGIT pa nanaig sa kanila dahil sila hindi makaalis ng bansa o baka pinagiipunan na nila pr makapagabroad din sila o mga BIGTIME INGGETERA’T INGGETERO sa mga sweldo ng OFW lalo na ng mga SEAFARERS.

      Sana may magseryosong Ahensya ng Gobyerno na TUMULONG sa mga OFW natin at masusing imbestigahan ang lahat ng Medical Clinic na mapagsamantala.

      GOD BLESS TO ALL OFW.

      Like

  2. Anonymous

    Everything is true about this super cash.. I’ve experience it several times.. Every medical ko lagi na lng sa findingz nila may UTI ako.. Pero before and after ng medical ko nagpapacheck up ako sa personal doctor ko and OB..negative nman results.. I tried the 3rd time n pinabalik nila ko bcoz of that said UTI I have them the result of my examination conducted by my personal doctor saying that wala nmn tlaga ako UTI.. but they would’nt accept it. But to my surprise bigla na lng clear n ko… O di ba?? Kaya nga Hwag tayo basta papayag sa sinasabi nila kapag sinabi nila na may sakit ka try mo magpasecond opinion sa ibang doctor na hindi nila nirefer

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  3. yhna

    hi good day share ko lang din experience ng cousin at husband ko sa supercare manila. Yung cousin ko nag pa sched sa kanila for physial exam dahil di pa naman siya mag rerenew ng medical pero pinatagal pa nila yung result bago nila irelease paalis nalang yung pinsan ko pero ayaw pa nila irelease yung result kung di pa sila aawayin hindi nila ibibigay. And now yung husband ko naman nag pa medical nung march 6, 2017 fit ang result pero nakita nila yung tuyong sugat sa kamay ng husband ko which is yung allergy niya na nakuha sa barko kaya nirequest nila ng “patch test” nirefer nila kami sa Manila doctors. Nagbayad kami ng 6,500 sa madocs para sa test at pag labas ng result after 1 week pinasa agad ng husband ko sa super care ang unang nakalagay sa onlne transmittal ” waiting for recommendation ℅ RCCL” ” Temporarily Unfit” then nung april 18, 2017 nakalagay na ” To send update ℅ RCCL” after ilang days ang nakalagay nanaman ” Waiting for mrf certificate” tumawag kami agad sa kanila since nag update yung online nila pero ang sabi ng kausap ko waiting parin daw ng approval ng principal tinanong ko siya bakit nag update yung online kung waiting parin ng approval sabi niya wait maam palitan ko lang po then pinalitan niya ang nilagay niya “Awaiting approval from principal” sabay sabi yan maam napalitan ko na po. Pero bago niya gawin yun Hinold niya yung phone for a minute may kinausap siyang nag tanong siya kung may update na yung medical ng husband ko then sabi wala daw tinawag niyang sir gino yung kausap niya. always kami nag fofollow up sa kanila pero walang update lagi ang sinasabi nila. Dapat Joining date ng husband ko nung april 29 pero di siya nakaalis dahil wala pa yung medical niya, Nagtataka lang kami dahil nung april 16, 2017 may email kaming na receive, contract na pinipirmahan ng husband ko kapag naka onboard siya at sabi ng co workers niya onbord naka line up siya dun sa barko and expected siya na darating nung april 29. Hanggang ngayon walang update ang super care, dapat siguro mag kaisa ang mga Seafarer na nagka problema sa super care dapat nirereport sila since hindi lang isang tao ang nagrereklamo sa ginagawa nila para matigil na yung mga pang hohold nila sa tao.

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  4. Just this morning nalaman kong ganyan din ang findings sakin sa supercare. Nakakalungkot kasi sa batch ko sa upl pang ilan na kong binigyan nila ng ganyang findings. Most of them ang findings sa cbc daw. Imbis na nakakaasikaso na ko ng ibang papeles ko kelangan ko pa silang balik balikan para jan. Wala naman akong choice kundi sumunod sa kagustuhan para para mafit to work na ko. Nakakapanghina ng loob.

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  5. Sophie

    same story sakin yung seafarer sa post na ‘to. Just this morning nalaman kong may pulmo scar ako kuno. Like wtf?? Lahat ng test na ginawa sakin sa supercare maayos. Wala akong history ng ganyang sakit tapos biglang may pulmo scar daw ako. Joke ba ‘to? Then the staff told me to come back to their clinic on monday para sa sputum test at para sa clearnance. Grabe. Imbis na makakapag visa na ko kelangan ko pang bumalik balik sa supercare para mafit lang ako.

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  6. Otetszki selabu

    Haaaaaaysss… Hindi lang pala ako. It is my first time to renew my medical in supacare. 1st day 15th of december 2016, i was so happy to finished my medical examination from 6am till 11am during the same day. I was surprised kasi hindi ko ini-expect na magiging mabilis lng pala. Then they told me to check online for the status of my medical examination for approval. Confident ako kasi wala po ako bisyo. Even on my previous medical examination from different clinic na wala akong findings. Eto na, confident ako na walang findings sa akin kasi po health conscious ako. So january 8,2017 ko chineck online ang status ko sa supacare to spend my 1st ever christmas and newyear with my family. Suddenly, my triglyciride was elevated ang findings. So went back to supacare then they just told me to buy some medicine from them and take those for 1 month. Once i showed them the meds, ok na daw po yun. Pero after a week pinapabalik na naman ako kasi daw kailangan ako kausapin. Meron daw akong grade 1 varicocoele. Its a very long story po, i end up having surgery even thou my surgeon doesnt want me to do the surgery kasi nga daw po its unnecessary and asymptomatic. Sa kagustuhan ko makasakay at matupad ang munting pangarap sa pamilya ko ay bigla po unti-ubting nawawala dahil sa findings na hindi naman na tama. Nalaman ko nalang mismo sa principal ko itong supacare ay hindi nagpa-followup sa principal ko kahit na ang agency ko ay madaming beses na ngemail sa supacare para sa sagot ng principal ko. Until now, temporary unfit ako kahit na fit to work na ang mga documents ko galing pa mismo sa surgeons ko. From 12/15/16 to present,wala pa din progress. Nakakawalan ng pagasa…

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  7. Greg

    Hi. Seaman po ang tatay ko. Diyan din sya nagpapa-medical. Hindi naman din siguro tama ang akusasyon ng karamihan tungkol sa clinic na yan. Hindi lahat ng empleyado ay ganyan ang turing sa mga pasyente, katulad ng tatay ko. Medyo natagalan din bago ma-fit, pero sinigurado nila na “FIT” talaga ang tatay ko bago sya sumakay. Nai-explain ng maayos to ng isang nurse kung bakit at kung ano ang kailangan gawin para lang maiwasan ang anumang pangyayari na hindi natin masasabi na pedeng mangyari sa barko.

    Concern lang ako kasi masyado na mapang-husga ang mga seaman na hindi nila inaalam ang tunay na ibig sabihin ng pre-employment medical examination. Naiintindihan ko din naman ang mga hinaing ng bawat isa sainyo.

    Napapagastos kayo, nahihirapan kayo, at sa hindi inaasahan minsan ay naa-unfit. Kung ikaw tatanungin. Malalaman mo ba kung may sakit ka? Alam mo ba gagawin mo? Diba puro tanong ka din? Nagbabago ang katawan ng tao, at malamang di mo yun alam kasi nga “wala ka namang nararamdaman”, kaya sa pagkakaalam mo ay wala kang sakit.

    Ang maipapayo ko lang sainyo, ay alagaan ang sarili, ang kalusugan. Kasi una sa lahat katawan nyo naman ang puhunan nyo. Kung di nyo aalagaan sarili nyo, malamang magkakaron kayo ng findings. At para maiwasan ang ma-supa cash, panatilihing maganda ang kalagayan ng sarili, umiwas sa hindi magandang gawain.

    Salamat.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Pingback: Basic OFW Pre-Employment Medical Exam price shall be 2,000-2,500 pesos only | The Seaambassadors Timeline

  9. Pingback: ENOUGH IS ENOUGH: Report ‘supacash’ and other abusive medical practitioners to DOH | The Seaambassadors Timeline

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