Lacson questions PhilHealth COVID fund release to dialysis center


Posted at Aug 11 2020 03:57 PM

MANILA--Sen. Panfilo Lacson on Tuesday scolded Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (PhilHealth) officials for releasing COVID-related funds to allegedly favored hospitals, including a company that runs dialysis clinics, which got P45 million.

Its branch in Tondo, Manila had no isolation area and patients coming in were told to first take swab tests at the Gat Andres Bonifacio Medical Center, he said, citing a report from someone he sent to look at the facility.
Lacson said a check with the Securities and Exchange Commission also showed no registration for B. Braun Avitum Dialysis Inc.

"Di ba kayo nagdu-due diligence? Bayad kayo nang bayad milyung-milyong piso," he said during the Senate investigation into alleged corruption at the state-run health insurance firm.

Lacson also questioned why the Tondo dialysis clinic posted a notice informing patients that they would need to pay beyond the 90-day limit.

"In-advance nyo pa yung bayad sa B. Braun. Naniningil rin pala sa dialysis patients kasi meron silang limit. So saan napunta yung pero nyong ibinigay?" he asked.

Rodolfo del Rosario, PhilHealth vice president for legal affairs, said the fund in question, which is made available to hospitals under the internal reimbursement mechanism (IRM), was not limited to COVID-19.

The IRM funds were also meant to benefit the health needs of say, pregnant women and dialysis patients, he said. -- Christian Esguerra, ABS-CBN News