Angara: PhilHealth needs more managers, fraud investigators than doctors
MANILA, Philippines — Senator Sonny Angara on Monday said there should be more managers and fraud investigators, and fewer doctors, in the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth) board following alleged cases of falsified claims for dialysis treatment.
“Like they say, maybe we don’t need more doctors in PhilHealth, we need more managers, we need more fraud investigators. Those type of professionals because we should transform (it into) a really professional insurance corporation,” Angara said in an interview over CNN Philippines.
Two former employees of a Novaliches-based dialysis center earlier exposed that WellMed Dialysis Center (WellMed) claimed benefits for deceased clients from the PhilHealth.
“Sinabi ni Senator JV (Ejercito), what we need is a good manager who can make sure the reserve is intact – that was one big concern at that time when we passed the Universal Health Care (bill). Nade-deplete ‘yung reserve,” Angara noted.
“Under the law, you’re supposed to – I think, you have an 18-month reserve at nauubos na ‘yun. So kailangan i-manage din ‘yung mga ganung klase ng claims,” he added.
Angara also expressed worries over the “ghost” dialysis treatment controversy, especially after Congress approved the measure that would increase the excise tax on tobacco products.
Angara, who sponsored the bill increasing taxes on tobacco products, said the measure was approved to help fund the Universal Health Care Law.
“The higher tobacco taxes, which will raise maybe P130 billion over the next five years – kaya nga natin ipinasa ‘yun, para sa Universal Health Care (law). So bibigyan natin nang mas maraming pera and yet merong mga anomaly,” Angara said.
The senator also called the controversy currently hounding PhilHealth “disturbing.”
“This money is meant for sick people, very poor and sick people. So talagang you’re taking away resources aside from the usual corruption that happens in government, this is particularly condemnable because you’re taking away money that’s meant for very sick and very poor people,” Angara said.
PhilHealth previously said they will be hiring more fraud investigators to strengthen the agency’s legal department.
(Editor: Katherine G. Adraneda)
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