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GOV TO PHILHEALTH: ARE FUNDS STILL AVAILABLE FOR UNIVERSAL HEALTH CARE PROGRAM?
By: Mylen Manto | Published Friday, July 31, 2020

Cebu Governor Gwendolyn Garcia expressed concerns over Philippine Health Insurance Corporation's (Philhealth) capacity to implement the Universal Health Care Act after receiving reports of questionable hospital admissions tagged under Covid-19 to be able to avail of the facility's Covid-19 package.

In her press conference on Wednesday, July 29, Garcia said Philhealth is spending up to P700,000 per Covid-19 patient. 

“Ako nag-tan-aw ko aning Philhealth, wow, sa kaning mga packages nga ilang kinahanglan bayran, I do hope nga ma-implement nato ang Universal Health Care because they have to pay so much to the hospitals,” she said. 

Garcia disclosed that she received reports of patients admitted at hospitals being placed under Covid-19 even though they are not positive cases as agreed by their families to be covered by Philhealth.

She added that many deaths recorded in hospitals that were incidental only to Covid-19 yet still included as a Covid case.

“You know this is getting ridiculous, tinuod ni, this is a true case. There is a very well-known nga family sa Guadalupe, di lang ko mu-hisgot kinsa but this is an actual case akong igsuon mismo nahibaw naa siya nagpuyo sa Guadalupe Heights. Namatay renal failure kay dialysis patient, namatay sa balay pag abot sa hospital Covid. Ni protesta na ang pamilya ngano Covid man,” she said, adding that the dialysis patient did not go to dialysis centers for a period of time.  

“There has to be questions that need to be asked because I believe naa may mga Covid packages gud ang Philhealth mo cover man. Kaniadto mahadlok ta, hala muadto mog hospital dako kay mog bayranan pero kong Philhealth mo aw wa moy bayran oi,” Garcia added. 

Garcia also shared that a Capitol consultant, who had cough and fever, was swabbed, treated as a probable Covid case, and admitted to the hospital for 10 days. He only paid P1,800 because Philhealth covered P140,000 worth of hospital bill.

The swab results came out negative yet Philhealth already shouldered the P140,000, she said. 

“At this rate, the Philhealth will be paying for all of these claims nga maski dili gyud tinuoray nga covid. I wonder if ma-implement pa ba nato ang Universal Health Care Law na mas kinahanglan sa mga tawo. Mas kinahanglan nato ang pundo ana but wow dagko man kayo ang Philhealth packages,” she stated.

“I just hope that we will all be very truthful and honest about things. Let’s not have our own agenda ani,” the governor said.

In 2019, President Rodrigo Duterte signed into law the Universal Health Care Bill that automatically included every Filipino citizen in the National Health Insurance Program. (Mylen Manto)