Panelo: PhilHealth services unaffected by resignations

Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo says secondary officials will run the Philippine Health Insurance Corp. while its top executives are being investigated in connection with the multimillion-peso scandal. PHILHEALTH

MANILA – Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo said the courtesy resignations of Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (PhilHealth) officials will not hamper its services.

Panelo said secondary officials will run PhilHealth while its top executives are being investigated in connection with the multimillion-peso scandal involving “ghost” dialysis treatments and beneficiaries.

“We assure our people that the services of PhilHealth will remain unhampered as operations will continue and will be momentarily run by second-level officials pending the subject investigation,” Panelo said.

Panelo added while President Rodrigo Duterte still trusts PhilHealth, its acting president and chief executive officer Dr. Roy Ferrer, and members of the board, he still ordered their courtesy resignations to avoid any taints in the investigation.

“The President wanted the PhilHealth to have a clean slate, absent of any taint of irregularity in rendering services as well as implementing pertinent policies on health, including the Universal Health Care Act,” Panelo said.

Duterte earlier ordered the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) to conduct a full-scale investigation on the alleged irregularities concerning the past practices of the agency.

Senator-elect Christopher “Bong” Go on Monday said Duterte was dismayed over the “ghost” dialysis treatments in supposed clinics which collected millions of pesos from PhilHealth.

“Kailangan rin maklaro kung paano nakalusot ng napakatagal na panahon ang ganitong anomalya ng fraudulent claims sa pamamalakad ng kasalukuyang mga opisyal,” Go said.

“Inutusan ng Pangulo ang NBI na imbestigahan ito sa mabilisang panahon,” he added.

Duterte on Saturday said he will “reorganize” the government health insurance firm as he noted the loss of some P100-billion was “totally, totally unacceptable.”

Corruption allegations against PhilHealth surfaced after a former employee of a dialysis center in Quezon City came forward to reveal a “ghost” dialysis scheme used to make fraudulent claims to the government health insurance firm. /PN


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