No dis­rup­tion in PhilHealth ser­vices, Palace as­sures

Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro - - Nation -

MALA­CAÑANG as­sured Mon­day, June 10, that Philip­pine Health In­sur­ance Cor­po­ra­tion (PhilHealth) ser­vices would not be dis­rupted de­spite the mis­use of funds for bogus dial­y­sis treat­ments.

Pres­i­den­tial Spokesper­son Sal­vador Panelo gave the as­sur­ance af­ter Pres­i­dent Ro­drigo Duterte asked PhilHealth's act­ing chief Roy Fer­rer and mem­bers of the board to file their cour­tesy res­ig­na­tions be­cause of "com­mand re­spon­si­bil­ity."

In a state­ment, Panelo said the Pres­i­dent has di­rected the Na­tional Bureau of In­ves­ti­ga­tion to in­ves­ti­gate the sup­posed un­law­ful ac­tiv­i­ties of some per­son­nel of the state health in­sur­ance agency.

"Pres­i­dent Duterte di­rected the Na­tional Bureau of In­ves­ti­ga­tion to con­duct a full-scale in­ves­ti­ga­tion on the al­leged ir­reg­u­lar­i­ties con­cern­ing the past prac­tices of PhilHealth," the Palace of­fi­cial said late Mon­day night.

"We as­sure our peo­ple that the ser­vices of PhilHealth will re­main un­ham­pered as oper­a­tions will con­tinue and will be mo­men­tar­ily run by sec­ond-level of­fi­cials pend­ing the sub­ject in­ves­ti­ga­tion," he added.

Al­le­ga­tions that ben­e­fit claims were granted to nonex­is­tent pa­tients of ac­cred­ited health provider Wel­lMed Dial­y­sis and Lab­o­ra­tory Cen­ter in No­valiches, Que­zon City rocked PhilHealth last week.

In a sep­a­rate state­ment, se­na­tor-elect Christo­pher Lawrence Go said the res­ig­na­tions of PhilHealth of­fi­cials will only take ef­fect once ac­cepted by the Pres­i­dent.

For now, Go said they should con­tinue to re­port for work and perform nor­mal du­ties and re­spon­si­bil­i­ties, "un­til any ac­tion on their cour­tesy res­ig­na­tions is taken by the Pres­i­dent."

Duterte met with PhilHealth board mem­bers on Mon­day in a bid to ad­dress the sup­posed fraud­u­lent schemes hound­ing the state health in­surer.

Panelo said that dur­ing the meet­ing, the Pres­i­dent re­it­er­ated his trust in the in­tegrity of Fer­rer and PhilHealth board mem­bers, but ex­pressed "sad­ness" over the PhilHealth's state of af­fairs.

Duterte like­wise stressed that their cour­tesy res­ig­na­tion would al­low the cor­po­ra­tion "to have a clean slate ab­sent any taint of ir­reg­u­lar­ity in ren­der­ing ser­vices as well as im­ple­ment­ing perti­nent poli­cies on health, in­clud­ing the Universal Health Care Act," Panelo said.

"There is zero tol­er­ance on cor­rup­tion un­der this Ad­min­is­tra­tion," he said.

"There will be an in­depth study on how the frauds are sys­tem­at­i­cally com­mit­ted by un­scrupu­lous per­sons in and out of PhilHealth. There will be crim­i­nal prose­cu­tions of all those in­volved. No one will be spared," he added.

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