MANILA – Senator Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go said the new case rates of the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth) for coronavirus disease (Covid-19) patients is aimed at maximizing the agency’s available funds in view of the rising cases of the dreaded disease in the country.
“Ginagawa ng PhilHealth ang lahat upang ma-maximize ang resources nila (PhilHealth is doing everything to maximize its resources) in order to continue assisting patients affected by Covid-19 pay for their hospital bills,” Go said in a recent radio interview.
In coming up with the case rates, the chair of the Senate Committee on Health and Demography explained that PhilHealth has to exercise prudence in anticipation of a spike in Covid-19 cases following the start of mass testing.
As of Tuesday, the Department of Health (DOH) reported that Covid-19 has so far infected 6,599 people in the Philippines, with 437 deaths and 654 recoveries.
“So ngayon po, naglabas na ng package naka-depende sa (So now, they released packages depending on the) severity of pneumonia,” Go said.
Previously, all Filipinos confined for Covid-19 had full PhilHealth coverage until April 15, when PhilHealth began implementing the new case rates.
For patients with mild pneumonia, PHilHealth will cover PHP43,997; for moderate pneumonia, PHP143,267; for severe pneumonia, PHP333,519; and, for critical pneumonia, PHP786,384 .
These packages cover the rates for accommodations; management and monitoring of illness; laboratory, diagnostics and imaging; medicines included in the guidelines and protocol of the DOH; and supplies and equipment, including personal protective equipment (PPE).
If the patient still does not have the capacity to pay for the hospital bill in excess of the amount already shouldered by PhilHealth, Go said the patient could request for more assistance from PhilHealth subject to its evaluation.
He also said patients may also seek additional assistance from the 71 existing Malasakit Centers all over the country.
“Saka-sakali rin po may Malasakit Center dun sa ospital kung saan sila na-admit, pwede sila humingi ng tulong dahil nandyan ang apat na ahensya ng gobyerno para tumulong (If ever there is a Malasakit Center in the hospital where they are admitted, they can ask for assistance as there are four government agencies there to help them),” Go said.
A Malasakit Center is a one-stop-shop for indigent and financially incapacitated patients where relevant government agencies with medical and financial assistance programs are gathered under one roof.
The agencies in Malasakit Centers include PhilHealth, Department of Health DOH), Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), and Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO).
Go assured that despite the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ), Malasakit Centers remain functional and responsive in assisting those who need medical and financial assistance from the government, especially poor and indigent patients.
He also assured that his office is always open for patients who need assistance.
“Kung may problema pa at kung saka-sakali po makakatulong kami, ang opisina ko po, huwag po kayong mag-atubiling lumapit (If there are still problems and my office, can be of help, please don’t hesitate to approach us),” Go said. (PNA)