‘Whatever it takes’: PhilHealth says to shoulder COVID-19 hospitalization

Arianne Merez, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Mar 26 2020 12:10 PM

Hospital front liners that consist of a nurse and security guards wear personal protective equipments as they man the entrance of the emergency room in the Gat Andres Bonifacio Memorial Medical Center in Tondo, Manila on March 24, 2020. George Calvelo, ABS-CBN News

MANILA- The Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth) will shoulder the medical expenses of Filipinos who will get hospitalized because of the new coronavirus disease (COVID-19), its president said Thursday.

PhilHealth President Ricardo Morales assured Filipinos that the state health insurance agency will pay for all the medical expenses of those who get sick with COVID-19, particularly health workers who have higher risk exposure to the disease.

“Lahat ng tatamaan ng COVID-19, wala sila dapat ilabas na pera, whether public or private hospital. Sasagutin ng PhilHealth,” Morales said in a televised briefing.

(Everyone who get sick with COVID-19 don’t have to shell out money, whether public or private hospital. PhilHealth will cover it.)

“Whatever it takes, sasagutin ng PhilHealth,” he added.

The PhilHealth chief clarified though that those under home quarantine are not covered by PhilHealth since the agency could not compute their medication expenses.

“Mayroon naman tayo naka-quarantine sa bahay, hindi natin masasagot yun dahil hindi naman natin alam ang ginamit nila na gamot at ginamit na process,” Morales said.

(We have those under home quarantine. We cannot cover their expenses since we don’t know what medicine and medical process they used or acquired.)

“Yun lang nako-confine, yung lang masasagot ng PhilHealth, kasi prescribed yung mga gamot at prosesong ginamit sa pasyente,” he said.

(Those who were confined are the only ones that can be covered by PhilHealth because they have prescriptions.)

So far, PhilHealth has released an initial P1.6 billion to public hospitals in response to the pandemic, Morales said. The amount is part of the P30 billion that PhilHealth earlier committed to hospitals for the COVID-19 crisis.

President Rodrigo Duterte has ordered the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office to transfer P420.59 million to PhilHealth to cover COVID-19 related medical expenses of the public.