PhilHealth may be paying double than actual cost of coronavirus tests: Drilon

ABS-CBN News

Posted at May 20 2020 10:20 AM

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The Philippine Health Insurance Corp may be paying private clinics double the actual cost of coronavirus test kits, Sen. Franklin Drilon said Wednesday. 

PhilHealth shoulders P8,150 under one of its COVID-19 test packages, said Drilon, who joined Tuesday a Senate hearing on the status of the government’s pandemic response. 

The government has to shell out some P8.3 billion if it screens 2 million Filipinos for the novel coronavirus, he said. 

However, test kits from China cost P1,500; materials and the salary of technicians would be about P2,000 per screening; and clinics may charge P500 for profit -- for a total of P4,000, said Drilon. 

This is the same amount that the Philippine Red Cross charges for coronavirus tests and at this rate, the government will only have to allot P4 billion to test 2 percent of its 100 million people, said the senator. 

"Makikita dito maliwanag na may overpayment," he told DZMM. "This is a criminal act. Pera ng bayan po ito." 

(It can be seen clearly here that there is overpayment... These are public funds.) 
 
Health Secretary Francsico Duque III said Tuesday the government would "review immediately" why some laboratories are charging about P8,000 for coronavirus tests. 

The Senate will resume its hearing later Wednesday. 

DZMM, May 20, 2020