‘Biggest hospital in PH’: PhilHealth defends giving biggest compensation to Davao City hospital
MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth) on Wednesday defended giving the biggest chunk of cash advances for COVID-19 under its Interim Reimbursement Mechanism (IRM) to the Davao City-based Southern Philippines Medical Center (SPMC), saying it is the biggest hospital in the country.
PhilHealth president and chief executive officer Ricardo Morales said SPMC has a bigger bed capacity than the University of the Philippines-Philippine General Hospital (UP-PGH), which is one of the major referral hospitals for coronavirus disease in the National Capital Region.
“[It’s the] biggest hospital in the Philippines with 1,800 beds. UP-PGH [has] 1,500 beds,” he said in a text message to INQUIRER.net when sought for clarification why the SPMC received the lion’s share of compensation under the IRM.
In November 2009, Republic Act No. 9792 was enacted, changing the name of the hospital from the former Davao Medical Center to Southern Philippines Medical Center and increasing its bed capacity from 600 to 1,200.
In April 2019, President Rodrigo Duterte signed Republic Act No. 11326, increasing the bed capacity of the hospital to 1,500.
It should be noted, however, that hospitals have increased their bed capacity to accommodate more patients stricken with COVID-19, amid surging cases of infection in the Philippines.
At the resumption of the Senate’s investigation into allegations of corruption at the state health pension fund, PhilHealth’s corporate legal counsel Atty. Roberto Labe Jr. revealed that SPMC topped the hospitals that received the highest reimbursement for COVID-19 patients, with a hefty P326 million.
PGH, on the other hand, got P263.3 million.
The following hospitals got huge cash advaces from PhilHealth: Davao Regional Medical Center in Tagum City with P209 million; Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center in Cebu City with P204 million; Jose B. Lingad Memorial Regional Hospital in the City of San Fernando with P201 million;
National Kidney and Transplant Institute in Quezon City with P179 million; Baguio General Hospital and Medical Center with P165 million; Northern Mindanao Medical Center with P150.2 million; Quirino Memorial Medical Center with P150 million; and, Eastern Visayas Regional Medical Center in Tacloban City with P146.2 million.
IRM, one of the subjects of investigation in the Senate hearing, is an emergency cash advance measure of PhilHealth to provide hospitals with an emergency fund to respond to unanticipated events like natural disasters and calamities.
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.