PhilHealth: Missing P15B funds paid to 711 hospitals

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CITY OF MALOLOS, Bulacan — A designated mouthpiece takes the cudgel of speaking in behalf of the embattled Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (PhilHealth), hinting on future plans to release the list of over 711 hospitals that received a cumulative P15 billion funds from the state insurer to disprove claims of corruption.

In a radio interview, PhilHealth spokesperson Shirley Domingo said that the government-owned and controlled insurance firm is in the middle of releasing data on the list of hospitals that received funds from their agency, through the Interim Reimbursement Mechanism (IRM).

Resigned PhilHealth anti-fraud legal officer Thorrson Montes Keith earlier alluded to the IRM as allegedly pocketed by the agency’s senior officials. “Maglalabas kami sa newspapers [ng list]… Napag-usapan na po namin ‘yun. Hindi po ‘yun napupunta sa bulsa ng mga officers dahil ‘yon ay nasa mga ospital,” she said.

She also reiterated that the agency is open to any investigation to “once and for all” disprove corruption allegations — “Ang P15 billion na ‘yan ay tinatawag naming interim reimbursements. Ito ay kaperahan na nilagay natin sa mga ospital, lying-in centers, at dialysis centers para maka-respond sila ng tama sa requirements ng pandemiya na ito,” Domingo said. “Exactly P14.9 billion na nasa ospital na po ‘yun. Nag-start po tayo maglagay niyan… nag-start po tayo around March until now to 711 medical facilities,” she added.

Keith has said the PhilHealth “mafia” has deep roots in the agency, including top officials in the executive committee. He said among the fraudulent schemes being employed are the cash advances, the use of the IRM, and the continuous procurement of IT equipment the agency already has.

However, PhilHealth downplayed Keith’s expose saying he stayed in the corporation for only nine months as a job order contractor doing staff work under the Office of the President and was “in no position to discuss office matters.”

Source: Metro Sun 

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