PhilHealth may be reshuffled over dialysis case: Duterte
President Rodrigo Duterte on Saturday said officials of Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth) may be reshuffled next week.
In an interview at the Kingdom of Jesus Christ Compound Broadcasting Studio in Sasa, Davao City, Duterte said he believed he has to do something over allegations surrounding Philhealth for paying dialysis treatment of those who are already dead.
“I am inclined to believe that I have to do something about it next week… So when I go back (in Manila), I’m making the announcement that I am maybe reshuffling the PhilHealth,” he said.
Duterte said he doesn’t know if doctors are involved by overcharging or charging for ghost treatments but he find around P100 billion worth of funds used for deceased people “unacceptable”.
“I don’t know but there are a lot of people benefitting from Philhealth. But the sheer amount of 100 something billion is totally, totally unacceptable to me,” said Duterte.
Because of the incident, Duterte said Philhealth needs “business people”.
“But for the sheer amount that was lost, I have to reorganize your entity, change maybe all of you and install a more --- systems of accounting and accountability. Why did it reached that huge (amount) without the necessary checks along the way?,” he said.
“And so I kind of --- was there a kind of checks that you installed? Because if none, then we have fallen short of our duty to really protect the money,” he added.
Duterte expressed his trust to PhilHealth acting president and CEO Roy Ferrer but he will look into any involvement of government official in the incident.
“I do not have the slightest doubt about the integrity and honesty of Roy Ferrer, the acting operations officer of PhilHealth. And I (know) nothing that they are part of it. Actually, they are the also ones of those urging or batting for the prosecution of this PhilHealth privileges that were abused tremendously,” he said.
He said public money is what involved in the incident and he is very strict in these kind of matters.
“What is really worse is it’s public money. So I am very strict. I do not want to hurt people. At this time, I do not have the evidence or proof so that I am not in a position to say that there’s government men involved,” said Duterte.
“But if the hospital is the one charging despite there are no dialysis patients, they are the one filing fraudulent claim. That’s fraud, so I will (investigate) them first. But I’m looking into any culpability of an employee of government joining or in cahoots or in conspiracy,” he said.
News reports said a former employee of WellMed Dialysis revealed PhilHealth continued paying for dialysis treatments of dead patients. Ferrer said they did not sit on the issue and acted on all the allegations.
Ferrer said the company which reportedly made claims for these dialysis patients who have deceased, is facing charges after investigations. Ella Dionisio/DMS