Palace: 'Nothing irregular' on Davao City hospital getting hefty PhilHealth cash advance | Inquirer News

Palace: ‘Nothing irregular’ on Davao City hospital getting hefty PhilHealth cash advance

By: - Reporter / @KAguilarINQ
/ 04:31 PM August 12, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — Malacañang on Wednesday said it sees “nothing irregular” about the Southern Philippines Medical Center (SPMC) in Davao City receiving the highest amount of cash advances from Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (PhilHealth) for COVID-19 response.

During a Senate hearing Tuesday, it was disclosed that SPMC received the biggest share of P326 million from PhilHealth’s Interim Reimbursement Mechanism (IRM) for its coronavirus efforts.


PhilHealth’s IRM is the state-run insurance firm’s emergency cash advance measure to provide hospitals with an emergency fund to respond to natural disasters and calamities – notably, this time, to address COVID-19.

“We find nothing irregular in the PhilHealth Interim Reimbursement Mechanism (IRM) allocation of Southern Philippines Medical Center (SPMC),” presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said in a statement.


PhilHealth President Ricardo Morales earlier defended giving SPMC the biggest chunk of cash advances for COVID-19 response, saying it is the “biggest hospital in the Philippines.”

Roque echoed Morales’ statement saying it is the “biggest hospital facility in the country” as it is a government hospital with 1,500 beds and 3,600 personnel.

“In addition, SPMC has several integrated specialty buildings which are stand-alone, like the Heart Institute, the Institute for Women and Newborn Care, the Orthopedic and Rehabilitation Institute, the Cancer Institute, the Intensive Care Complex, and the main hospital for General Medicine and Surgery.  It has the biggest hemodialysis in the country with 65 dialysis chairs,” Roque noted.

“SPMC also has the highest PhilHealth income, breaking the billion mark. Its average income for 2018-2019 is P1.2-B and IRM is based on the monthly average or the track record of reimbursement for 2018-19,” he went on.

SPMC, Roque said, had the biggest amount of claims due to its “regular provision of healthcare services to patients all over Mindanao.”

Following SPMC with the biggest chunk of cash advances from PhilHealth for COVID-19 was the University of the Philippines-Philippine General Hospital in Manila City with P263.3 million; Davao Regional Medical Center in Tagum City with P209 million; Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center in Cebu City with P204 million; and, Jose B. Lingad Memorial Regional Hospital in the City of San Fernando with P201 million.

Based on the Department of Health COVID-19 tracker, the National Capital Region has 78,870 coronavirus infections to date while Davao Region has 1,602 – of which, 1,035 are from Davao City.


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TAGS: COVID-19, Malacañang, Palace, Philhealth, Southern Philippines Medical Center, SPMC
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