New PhilHealth chief: 'I do not know what is public health'


Posted at Sep 01 2020 11:56 AM

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Former National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) director Dante Gierran, the new head of state medical insurer, admitted Tuesday he had no experience with health services, even as he called on the public to give him "a chance to lead."

“I’m a little bit scared… because I don’t know the operation of PhilHealth,” Gierran told ANC. “I do not know what is public health.”

In contrast, Gierran said he had been working for 27 years in the NBI before he became its chief, a post he retired from last February.

Gierran, a certified public accountant, nonetheless said he would bring to PhilHealth his knowledge of financial management, law, insurance, and investigation.

He said he would create his own management committee and examine PhilHealth's financial statements, including its fund release to hospitals, which in some instances came before a board resolution.
“My job is to restore the trust of the people in the government… I am new. Give me a chance to lead,” Gierran said. “Don’t pre-judge me… If I can’t do my job, I’ll tell my principal.”

Gierran is replacing cancer-stricken Ricardo Morales, who resigned from PhilHealth last week following allegations of corruption and mismanagement.

Morales said Gierran can get "technical knowledge" of PhilHealth from his staff.

"It’s going to be a learning experience, getting to know the job, know the company, know the history of the organization, know the people inside," Morales said in a separate ANC interview. "His worry will be navigating the organization."

ANC, Sept. 1, 2020