PhilHealth’s Morales says privacy was not respected with disclosure of his cancer
MANILA, Philippines — Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (PhilHealth) president and CEO Ricardo Morales has expressed regret that his privacy was supposedly not respected following the disclosure of his medical condition.
“As President and Chief Executive, it is my duty to represent the Corporation while still physically capable. I regret that my privacy was not respected,” Morales was quoted as saying in a statement issued by PhilHealth on Sunday.
According to PhilHealth, Morales “had every intention” to participate in the Senate investigation into fresh allegations of corruption in the agency.
OFFICIAL STATEMENTHe had every intention to attend the Senate hearing scheduled this August, 11, 2020 or any…
But due to Morales’ health condition and his immunocompromised state, PhilHealth said he opted to submit his medical certificate as a requirement in requesting the Senate to allow him to attend the hearing through video conference instead of physically.
“Diagnosed with cancer in February of this year and undergoing chemotherapy, Morales continues to hold office against medical advice,” the agency said.
A medical certificate submitted to the Senate showed that Morales was “advised to undergo 6 cycles of treatment during which he will be immunocompromised and vulnerable to opportunistic infections.”
“He shall undergo a repeat PET CT Scan after completing 6 cycles of chemotherapy after which I shall make a recommendation when he can resume work,” the document, dated August 7, further read.
PhilHealth executive vice president and chief operating officer Arnel de Jesus also notified the Senate of his health condition, saying that he would not be able to attend the next Senate hearing “due to an unforeseen medical emergency.”
The Senate investigation into the PhilHealth mess is set to resume next Tuesday, August 11.
In the previous hearing, senators quizzed PhilHealth officials over a proposed P2.1-billion information technology project, which state auditors had earlier flagged as being overpriced, the supposedly questionable release of funds under the corporation’s Interim Reimbursement Mechanism (IRM) and the alleged manipulation of the corporation’s financial status.
A recently resigned PhilHealth anti-fraud officer also claimed that a mafia-like syndicate operating in the agency allegedly pocketed P15 billion through various schemes, which the agency has already denied in the “strongest terms.”
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