Just as the nation was elated by the enactment of the Universal Health Care Law, we are shocked with this disgusting revelation on the massive fraudulent transactions involving PhilHealth.
Instinctively, one would wonder how long and how rampant these “ghost dialysis” claims have been going on. Perhaps for many years already?
Other than the “ghost dialysis” claims, it is not remote that there could be many more medical reimbursements filed by scrupulous individuals or syndicates, in cahoots with PhilHealth employees, before the said agency.
Was it even possible for the perpetrators to keep the scam from the knowledge of the PhilHealth’s top management at the extent it was carried out? Would this have been discovered if not for the two whistleblowers who exposed the racket?
A few years ago, PhilHealth was also the center of media attention when its officials were accused of receiving hefty bonuses and allowances ranging from hundreds of thousands to a million pesos every month.
Those culprits were investigated but most of them got off the hook. One of them even ran for public office and is now a senator.
This is precisely why government agencies and government-owned-and-controlled corporations must be 100- percent transparent to the public.
PhilHealth officials who deny culpability must be held accountable for these horrible crimes. No excuses.
It’s unthinkable what agony dialysis patients and their families go through in search of ways to cover for the costs of dialysis, treatment and hospitalization.
Thousands of poor patients could hardly be accommodated at crowded government facilities, like the National Kidney and Transplant Institute. And then we hear that a number of unscrupulous private medical companies have been charging PhilHealth, raking in millions of pesos for non-existent services to dead or non-existent patients.
Only one service provider, the Wellmed Dialysis Center, has been implicated but there are likely more entities engaged in the irregularities in connivance with PhilHealth insiders.
This scam, as well as other forms of abuse of funds by the agency, has to stop. After all, these funds are hard earned contributions of the millions of Filipinos.
I hope this administration can finally put an end to PhilHealth’s misery of being the milking cow of its officials and now, the syndicates.