Sotto: PhilHealth budget needs scrutiny amid ‘ghost’ dialysis mess
MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (PhilHealth) should explain how it implements its budget after a report came out that it had been paying for “ghost” kidney treatments, Senate President Vicente Sotto III said on Saturday.
“Ipaliwanag [nila]. Kailangan bulatlatin… Talagang halukayin natin yung pondo sa budget nila,” Sotto said in an interview aired over AM radio station DWIZ.
[They should explain. It has to be scrutinized… We really need to look into the funds of their budget.]
According to a report in the Philippine Daily Inquirer, Edwin Roberto, who used to work for WellMed Dialysis & Laboratory Center Corp. (WellMed), said the center filed claims for the dialysis of patients who had already died.
Roberto added that PhilHealth kept on paying for the treatments without checking if the claims were valid.
Sotto recalled the Senate budget deliberations for the Department of Health last January, during which PhilHealth was criticized for not updating the results of the investigation.
“Eh wala puro pangako — imbestigahan, iimbestigahan. Ano na nangyari?” he said.
[Nothing happened. They just kept promising to investigate. So what happened?]
“Paano magiging mahusay itong universal health care kung may PhilHealth mauubos lang ang pera ng bayan kung may ganyan?” Sotto said.
[How would we improve universal health care if PhilHealth would just use up all the people’s money?]
The Universal Health Care Law, signed on Feb. 20, seeks to expand health coverage and benefits for all Filipinos.
The measure aims to expand PhilHealth coverage to include free consultation tests and other diagnostic services.
(Editor: Alexander T. Magno)
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