MANILA - President Rodrigo Duterte on Saturday said he would "reorganize" the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth) after the agency lost some P154 billion to "ghost" patients and deliveries.
The President noted that he does "not have the slightest doubt about the integrity and honesty" of Philhealth chief Roy Ferrer, but losses of some P100 billion is "totally, totally unacceptable."
He made the statement in light of a "ghost" dialysis scandal involving a Quezon City clinic, which allegedly made claims from PhilHealth for two years for patients who were already dead.
"When I go back [to Manila], I’m making the announcement that I am maybe reshuffling the PhilHealth," Duterte said in an interview on Pastor Apollo Quiboloy's television show on Sonshine Media Network in Davao City.
"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," he said.
"As of last count, it (losses) was about 154 something, if I’m not mistaken, billion," he said.
The government-owned and controlled corporation needs a "military man" or "business people" whose expertise are "purely management" to rid the system of fraudulent claims, the president said.
"The sheer number of people to be supervised is just so daunting. And that is why you need to a systems analyst to make it easy for you, especially to establish the checks and balances somewhere there," Duterte said.
"Sana when it becomes clear that the amount is getting big, somebody should look somewhere," he said.
Duterte has ordered authorities to arrest owners of WellMed, the firm involved, and to look into possible liabilities of government officials.
PhilHealth earlier said it would hire 130 fraud investigators, 12 more lawyers, and 54 doctors to help validate the alleged fraudulent claims.