MANILA -- Health Secretary Francisco Duque III on Tuesday said he was "very dismayed" that a dialysis center accused of fraudulent claims has continued to keep its accreditation from the Philippine Health Insurance Corp.
The state-run corporation has to observe a process before it can withdraw the accreditation of WellMed Dialysis Center, which was accused by 2 former employees of making payment claims for dead patients from 2016 to 2018, PhilHealth Deputy Spokesperson Rey Balena told radio DZMM.
"Very dismayed ako sa nangyari na iyan. Hindi ko maintindihan kung bakit iyan ay lumalabas na hanggang ngayon [may accreditation]," Duque said in a separate DZMM interview.
"Ako ay tatawag sa [PhilHealth] OIC, si John Basa, at sasabihan ko s'ya, what the heck is happening here dahil long overdue na," he added.
(I am very dismayed with what happened. I can't understand why it still has its accreditation. I will call PhilHealth OIC John Basa and tell him, what the heck is happening here because that is already long overdue.)
PhilHealth-Metro Manila as early as February urged the corporation's central office to stop payments for WellMed, said Duque.
But the accreditation committee, he said, rejected the recommendation and directed the regional office to submit additional evidence.
"Why do you do that? Hindi naman ito (these are not) criminal proceedings. This is just an administrative proceeding. You do not have to demand proof beyond reasonable doubt, you only need substantial evidence," said the Health chief.
Philhealth has suspended payments to WellMed, Balena said.
The clinic has said it "would not, in any way, consent to, or participate in any 'ghost dialysis' or fraudulent scheme."
Authorities last June 10 arrested the owner of the dialysis center, Dr. Brian Sy, on charges of estafa, falsification of public documents, and violation of the PhilHealth law. He was released from detention on Sunday after posting a P72,000 bail.