PhilHealth to get P71.4 billion in proposed 2021 budget – Defensor
MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (PhilHealth) is expected to receive P71.4 billion as its share in the 2021 national budget, Rep. Mike Defensor of the Anakalusugan party-list said Tuesday.
Defensor, who chairs the House Committee on Public Accounts, which is leading the investigation on the alleged anomalies within PhilHealth, expressed hope that the new leadership of the agency would “use the funds judiciously.”
The lawmaker said that Philhealth would also collect more than P100 billion a year in contributions from members.
“The subsidy is used mainly to cover non-contributory Filipinos like the poor, those without jobs and senior citizens. That is the mandate of the Universal Health Care Law,” Defensor said in a statement.
Defensor said the PhilHealth budget for 2021 would be the same as its P71.4-billion budget this year.
The lawmaker likewise reiterated his call for the newly-appointed Philhealth chief, Dante Gierran, to scrap the case or package rates and interim reimbursement mechanism of the agency.
Meanwhile, Defensor said that the budget of the Department of Health (DOH), to which the PhilHealth is attached to, would receive a budgetary increase of more than P27 billion, from P104 billion this year to P131.2 billion next year.
Of this amount, Defensor said P44.7 billion would go to health facilities, P27.7 billion to public health programs, P22.6 billion to health systems strengthening, and P17.3 billion to medical assistance to indigent patients.
The lawmaker said specialty hospitals — such as the National Kidney and Transplant Institute and the Philippine Heart Center — would get budget increases while the Lung Center of the Philippines would have a slight decrease in budget.
The National Kidney and Transplant Institute will have an increase in budget from P908 million to P1.3 billion while the Philippine Heart Center will have its budget increased from P1.4 billion to P1.8 billion, said Defensor.
Defensor added that the Lung Center of the Philippines would have its budget cut from P417 million to P405 million, while the Philippine Children’s Medical Center would also have its budget cut from P1.2 billion to P1.042 billion.
The lawmaker proposed that funding for these hospitals be at least retained at the present level if it could be increased.
The budget deliberations at the House of Representatives are set to begin on Friday, Sept. 4.
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