PhilHealth short on its promises

January 14, 2022 Marlon Purification 207 views

SENATOR Nancy Binay on Friday called out the Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (PhilHealth) for misleading its members about the availability of its “home treatment” package for Covid-positive patients.

According to Binay, patients who do not want to stay in community isolation units (CIU) or health facilities and opted for home quarantine tried to avail of PhilHealth’s Covid-19 Home Isolation Benefit Packages (CHIBP) only to find out that there are only six (6) listed accredited providers in the country, none of which are in the National Capital Region.

“Parang paulit-ulit na lang itong lokohan. Kawawa na naman ang mga kababayan nating umasa na may ganitong tulong, na hindi naman pala talaga nila mapapakinabangan. ‘Wag na sanang paasahin ang mga tao sa wala. May sakit na nga, pakiramdam mo pa eh parang na-scam. Halos one year na itong pino-promote, pero ampaw pala,” she pointed out.

PhilHealth has been promoting its CHIBP since August 2021 intended for members who were tested positive but choose to receive health support at home. CHIBP is supposed to be available to patients who passed both clinical and social criteria in surge areas declared by the IATF.

“Everything should have already been in place prior to its launching last year, otherwise, parang malaking PR stunt lang ang Home Isolation Benefit Package para lang masabing may programang ginagawa ang PhilHealth para sa members. Halos isang taon na pero walang nakakaalam kung ano ang proseso para ma-avail ang package,” Binay said.

The senator said she discovered the gaps in the CHIBP’s implementation this week upon exploring PhilHealth’s website to find out how members could avail of the package.

“Ang tanong: Why advertise and promote something which is not available in the first place? It’s grossly misleading, unreliable, and openly irresponsible. It’s an institutional failure,” Binay said.

Services under the home isolation package include home consultations for a minimum of 10 days, 24/7 daily monitoring of patients through teleconsultation, and provision of a home isolation kit which contains: 1L 70 percent alcohol, five pieces face mask, 1 thermometer, 1 pulse oximeter, drugs and medicines (18 pieces Paracetamol, 12 pieces Lagundi tablets or equivalent, six sachets oral rehydration salts, 10 pieces Ascorbic Acid, 10 pieces Vitamin D and zinc), and a consent form. Malacañang likewise is pushing PhilHealth to expand CHIBP to include free RT-PCR testing.

“Ang daming proklamasyon, pero wala naman posibilidad na makinabang ang mga nangangailangan nito dahil wala ngang accredited provider na nasa high-risk area,” she added.