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JV Ejercito: PhilHealth could collapse if mismanagement continues

/ 05:54 PM May 22, 2018

Senator JV Ejercito on Tuesday expressed fears that the Philippine Health Insurance (PhilHealth) would collapse if financial mismanagement at the national health insurer would continue.

Asked about his findings at the hearing on PhilHealth’s performance, Ejercito said he sees financial mismanagement.

“If the financial mismanagement would continue — I hope not — it would lead to the collapse of organization,” Ejercito told reporters in Filipino.

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If that happens, it would mean the collapse of the Philippine health system, according to Ejercito, the chairperson of the health and demography committee.

“We are very dependent on only one source, which is PhilHealth. Unlike in other countries, Thailand for example, has three sources,” he said.

The board will be held accountable if the mismanagement would be proven, he added.

PhilHealth’s income loss in 2017 is reportedly P9 billion but officer in charge Celestina Ma. Jude de la Serna clarified at the hearing that the loss was only P4 billion.

De La Serna said the error was due to a double entry of accounts for P 4.1 billion in one of their regional office.

She assured the public and the lawmakers that PhilHealth has the capability to pay claims made, saying that the agency has P151 billion in total assets and an investment portfolio of P120.7 billion as of December 2017.

Ejercito said the government health insurance corporation vowed to pay hospitals — especially the smaller ones — within 20 to 30 days after a patient’s claim.

The senator said this is crucial for the survival of small hospitals that serve communities in far-flung areas. /vvp

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