Oct 22, 2019

Recently, the Private Hospitals Association of the Philippines Inc. (PHAPi) released an open letter addressed to PhilHealth President Ricardo Morales threatening that its 600 member hospitals will not be renewing their PhilHealth accreditation for next year. Chief on their complaints is PhilHealth’s unpaid claims (reportedly, PhilHealth owes PHAPi around P2.5 billion in reimbursements) and that the accreditation of three hospitals in Northern Mindanao were taken away due to alleged fraud when no resolution on the case has been reached.

This is amid two other scandals concerning the state-run firm. Since 2013, PhilHealth has lost P154 billion to overpayments and fraud—this includes cases where it paid for the dialysis of patients who were already dead. Apparently, many fraud complaints would be dealt with by employees shredding official documents, and then dismissing these complaints for “insufficiency of evidence.”

It also recently announced an increase on premium costs for next year, which is as much as a “0.25-percent premium rate increase, bringing annual contributions to as high as P21,600.” OFW groups immediately hit back against the sudden increase, especially as the corporation also ordered that land-based OFWs must pay their premiums before they’re issued employment certificates.

“Where will they get the money?” asked former labor undersecretary Susan Ople.

Despite all this, PhilHealth continues to receive the biggest subsidy of all the state-run firms. This year, it’s received a subsidy of P27.7 billion, which takes a total of 87 percent of the total P31.8 billion subsidies given to government-owned corporations. Starting next year, PhilHealth will also be the one to implement the universal healthcare program with an initial fund of P257 billion.

 

Featured photo courtesy of Inquirer.net

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