Pacquiao slams Philhealth for the delay in the payment of hospital reimbursements

GENERAL SANTOS CITY- The association of   local hospitals here urged Sen. Manny Pacquiao to help facilitate the payment of  reimbursement from Philhealth which had accumulated to P834 milion since August 31.

The adminisrators of  the seven local hospitals including   Auguis Clinic & Hospital, General Santos Doctors Hospital, Gensan Medical Center, Mindanao Medical Center, RO Diagan Cooperative Hospital, Sarangani bay Specialists Medical Center, Socsargen County Hospital, and St. Elizabeth Hospital wrote Pacquiao to help expedite the payment of Philhealth reimbursements to prevent a possible financial exhaustion on the operations of local hospitals in the city.

Pacquaio said the issue on the delay or nonpayment of Philhealth reimbursements to various hospitals and those in the frontline have been dragging on for months. 

Last August 26, Philhealth President and CEO Dante Gierran assured during the hearing conducted 9by the  House Committee on Good Government and Public Accountability to settle the payment of  17 billion reimbursements  out of the 21 billion due to state hospitals. 

 However, Pacquiao said the reimbursements remain unpaid  until  today.

The lawmaker even heaped into  the brewing anomaly on the   multi-billions contract in the purchase of COVID-19 equipment  cornered  by Pharmally Pharmaceutical Corporation  and the irregulariy in the disbursement of some P50 billion qamelioration funds to 7,000 beneficiaries contraced by Starpay electronic money service provider.

Pacquiao said billions of funds were stashed in these anomalous deals  yet the urgent needs of hospitals that claimed reimbursements from Philhealth  remain unpaid. 

He decried the dying people  afflicted with COVID-19  who were deprived of treatment from medical  facilities, yet the payment for Pharmally and Starpay was all done in a haste.

 The senator-cum presidential candidate has  called on Philhealth officials  to immediately release the reimbursements  due to local hospitals in General Santos Ciyand other hospitals in the country.

 Amid this crises brought by the pandemic,  the governent should shun away with all  the bureaucratic red tape in faciltating the payment on Philhealth reimbursements.

 Sen. Pacquiao also criticized the P1-billion cut in the proposed budget for maintenance and other operating expenses (MOOE) of government hospitals.

"It is quite unfortunate that the proposed budget for public hospitals for next year has been slashed by P1 billion. 

"We are still in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic and yet the budget of government hospitals would be reduced, thus depriving the people of affordable health care," Pacquiao lamented.   

"I fully support the demand of various organizations of health workers to give government hospitals enough resources to deal not only with COVID-19 but also with other health concerns," he senator  added. 

The lawmaker cited the constitutional provision that "the State shall adopt an integrated and comprehensive approach to health development which shall endeavor to make essential goods, health and other social services available to all the people at affordable cost."

The Alliance of Health Workers (AHW) has decried the   government’s lack of priority for public health, as reflected in the budget cuts for government hospitals next year.

Of the P242 billion proposed budget for the health sector in 2022, 33 percent would be allotted to PhilHealth. 

Only P157 billion will be allocated to the Department of Health under the Office of the Secretary. The budget for 76 public hospitals was listed under the DOH-OSEC's allocation.

Among the affected hospitals that will be subjected to budget cuts in their  corresponding MOOE include Batanes General Hospital, P10.47 million; Region 2 Trauma and Medical Center, P7.3 million; Bicol Regional Hospital, P90 million; 

Mindanao Central Sanitarium in the Zamboanga Peninsula, P28.2 million

Philippine Children's Medical Center, P891 million; Lung Center of the Philippines, P100 million; Philippine Heart Center, P28 million; National Kidney and Transplant Institute, P8 million; Philippine General Hospital, P130 million. 

With these budget cuts, COVID-19 response will be likely affected, Pacquiao noted . 

Health workers are also up in arms against the reported budget cuts in national referral laboratories such as the DOH Central Office's National Reference Laboratory (P10 million), East Avenue Medical Center National Reference Laboratory (P8 million), and the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (P170 million).  

On top of those pressing  concerns, the group maintained that Philhealth reimbursements and benefits for COVID-19 medical frontliners should be prioritized.

Health workers have been staging protest actions amid the surge in coronavirus infections to demand the release of their long-delayed benefits and hazard pay as they battle the COVID-19 in the frontlines.


Post a Comment