Bankruptcy problems for new Philhealth chief? PDF Print E-mail
Sunday, 16 April 2017 14:26



LIFE’S INSPIRATIONS: “… The fool says in his heart, `There is no God.’ They are corrupt, their deeds are vile; there is no one who does good…” (Psalm 14:1, the Holy Bible).


NO CONGRATULATORY MESSAGES FOR NEW PHILHEALTH CHIEF YET: I sincerely wanted to, but I really can’t as of yet, congratulate Dr. Celestina Maria Jude Dela Serna on her appointment as the new president and chief executive officer of the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation or Philhealth. The reason is nothing personal.

It is just that she is now the head of an agency that is possessed with so many problems, notable among which is its evident lack of sufficient money to pay for the medical and other health requirements of its members. This lack of money—arising from inexplicable bankruptcy, many have surmised—is easy to see from one of its much hated policies on reimbursements of hospital bills.

I have already written about this before, and have discussed this in “Tambalang Batas at Somintac”, a daily (Mondays to Fridays, 6 a.m. to 7 a.m.) radio program that I am co-hosting at Radyo Agila’s DZEC (1062kHz) with DZEC’s Malacanang reporter, Vic Somintac. No one from Philhealth, nor from the Department of Health of Secretary Paulyn Ubial, bothered to answer. It is because my claims were true and therefore unanswerable?


PHILHEALTH NEW RULE RAISES HOWL FROM MEMBERS: Here are parts of my article in 2016 about this: “I am writing this based on the personal experience of my own 82 year-old mother, Mrs. Salvacion Lazo Mauricio, who was told on Thursday, April 14, 2016, that, contrary to what she had been used to in her previous medical emergencies, she could no longer avail of Philhealth deductions from her medical or hospital bills if she was not confined for at least four (4) days in a hospital.

“That caused great dismay and anger on her part, because, while she was already fully cured and ready to be discharged after three days of confinement at the FEU Hospital-Nicanor Reyes Medical Foundation in Fairview, Quezon City by Thursday morning, she had to wait until 7:30 p.m. of that day to enable her to complete four days of confinement, and therefore enable her to claim Philhealth deductions.

“I had to rush to the hospital to sort things out, lest my mother got stressed out again. Unfortunately, the hospital personnel that I talked to insisted that, if my mother wanted to avail of Philhealth deductions (which amounted to around P10,000.00, certainly a hefty sum which she could use to buy further medicines), she should check out only after 7:30 p.m., to reflect four days of confinement.


DISENFRANCHISING PHILHEALTH MEMBERS: “The personnel said this regulation from Philhealth appears to be very new, and is virtually unknown and is therefore causing similar problem and discomfort to many other patients who, like mother, were caught unaware of its existence. Then, I asked: “how about the patients who will not be confined for four days, they are no longer entitled to any Philhealth deductions even if they are paying their contributions?”

“The answer shocked me: yes, if the patient is not confined for at least four days, he or she will no longer be allowed to claim Philhealth deductions, and would have to pay for the entirety of their hospital or medical bills. Wow! What then is the use of paying Philhealth contributions if the contributors could no longer avail of Philhealth deductions?

“What prompted this new Philhealth regulation? Why is Philhealth and the Department of Health and even the entire … government courting the anger of the Filipino nation… by disenfranchising, as it were, Philhealth members from the benefits that have been promised to, and were previously enjoyed by, them?”


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