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Review of PhilHealth packages urged to clarify coverage of patients in tents

Review of PhilHealth packages urged to clarify coverage of patients in tents

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth) should urgently review its benefit packages as it should clarify its coverage for patients in tents, a lawmaker said Wednesday.

Gabriela Women’s Partylist Rep. Arlene Brosas said reports of patients being charged of waiting in tents is “a manifestation of the Duterte era’s dystopian nightmare.”

“Letting patients suffer in tents is one thing, but charging them P1,000 [per hour] and saying that this is not part of the PhilHealth coverage is just plain evil,” Brosas said in a statement.

“If only President (Rodrigo) Duterte prioritized building COVID-19 hospitals instead of non-essential infrastructure projects in the national budget, patients wouldn’t have to suffer and die in tents,” she added.

PhilHealth president and chief executive officer (CEO) Dante Gierran clarified that patients who are staying in tents that are part of in-patient care “should be covered by the current in-patient COVID-19 packages.”

It is services in non-accredited Community Isolation Unit tents that are “not compensable under existing rules,” said Gierran.

However, Brosas said this is not indicated in the guidelines.

“PhilHealth must stop frantically fanning the flames of public outrage with mere empty words,” Brosas said.

“The Filipino people deserve more than that. They should release a new set of guidelines for the implementation of COVID-19 benefits and include patients who were forced to stay in non-accredited Community Isolation Unit tents,” she added.

President Rodrigo Duterte has ordered PhilHealth to also incurred by COVID-19 patients waiting in tents and other facilities set up on hospital grounds as they await admission.

/MUF

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