President Rodrigo Duterte said on Monday state medical insurer PhilHealth was being "very careful" in processing hospital claims, which medical facilities say could finance the treatment of COVID-19 sufferers.
The Philippine Hospital Association earlier this August said PhilHealth owed private and public medical facilities some P20 billion in COVID-19 claims.
Duterte said he has asked PhilHealth president and CEO Dante Gierran: "Bakit mahina ka?"
(Why are you weak?)
The President said Gierran replied that his job involved receipts and documents for medicines, expenses, and hospital admissions.
"Sabi niya, "I have to be careful, NBI ako sir e,'" Duterte said of Gierran, a former director of the National Bureau of Investigation.
"'I cannot move faster than how they want it to be because I have to be very careful considering what happened to Philhealth. Ayaw ko mangyari sa akin ‘yan,'" the President added, recounting more of the PhilHealth chief's remark.
(I do not want that to happen to me.)
Dr. Jose Rene De Grano, president of the Private Hospitals Association of the Philippines Inc, earlier said delayed reimbursements would be used to cover the salaries of health care workers, medical equipment and supplies.