Palace says PhilHealth's survival not solely dependent on premiums
Malacañang said on Tuesday that the survival of state-run Philippine Health Insurance Corporation does not solely depend on the the contributions of its members.
Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque made the statement after a PhilHealth executive in a Senate hearing said the agency might collapse by 2022 amid the coronavirus disease pandemic.
"As author of the Universal Health Care, we never even for one minute considered that the survival of PhilHealth will solely be by reason of premiums," he said in a virtual press briefing. Prior to becoming Duterte's spokesperson, Roque was a party-list representative.
He said that free medicine and free treatment could not be possible if premiums would only be the source of PhilHealth's fund.
Roque said the government is ready to provide funds for the government's health insurance agency.
"If PhilHealth runs out of money, the government will give fund, that's why it is called Universal Health Care, not medical insurance," he added.
PhilHealth Acting Senior Vice President for Actuarial Services Nerissa Santiago, in the Senate hearing, said they expect that by 2021, the agency would be in the red.
Prior to pandemic, she has said that PhilHealth's actuarial life was more than 10 years. But the health crisis has affected PhilHealth's collection from its members as it also has increased its benefit payouts.
The Senate has been conducting an investigation on the alleged massive corruption in PhilHealth. Celerina Monte/DMS