PhilHealth corruption probe should focus on hospitals: ex-boss


Posted at Sep 01 2020 11:14 AM | Updated as of Sep 01 2020 11:25 AM

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MANILA -- The investigation of various bodies into the alleged irregularities inside PhilHealth should focus on hospitals, "where the corruption is happening”, the former head of the state medical insurer said Tuesday.

The PhilHealth has “20,000 cases of violations and possible fraud in our dockets, in the region and the central office,” said its former CEO and President Ricardo Morales.

“You know where the corruption is happening? They’re looking the wrong way. It’s in the hospitals. The hospitals receive the money,” he told ANC.

“Almost all the cases of fraud, or violations — not almost; all — are in the hospitals and the professionals… If there’s collusion, that is where the investigation should come in,” he added.

Morales is battling allegations of corruption from whistleblowers who accused him in Congress hearings of approving overpriced projects and fund release to supposedly favored hospitals. He resigned last week.

Morales said he could not have used internal resources to investigate PhilHealth officials who might have colluded with hospitals involved in fraud.

“Kapag ginamit mo internal, collusion iyan e di magtatakipan lang iyan so it will not be very useful,” he said.

(If you use internal resources, that’s collusion, they will just cover up for each other.)

Morales said he instead added 100 special investigators to reduce the backlog of probes against erring hospitals.

He said his successor, former National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) chief Dante Gierran, “will have an advantage since he can use external sources.”