Senator Nancy Binay called out the Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (PhilHealth) Friday for misleading its members about the availability of its “home treatment” package for COVID-positive patients.
According to Binay, patients who would not want to stay in community isolation units (CIU) or health facilities and opted for home quarantine tried to avail themselves of PhilHealth’s COVID-19 Home Isolation Benefit Packages (CHIBP) only to find out that there were only six listed accredited providers in the country.
She also pointed out that none of the accredited providers were in the National Capital Region.
“This is a repeated deception. Our people are in a pitiful situation as they are hoping for this kind of help which they really cannot use,” the senator said.
She appealed to Philhealth “not to give false hopes to our people. While they are already sick, they also felt like they were being scammed…They (PhilHealth) have been promoting this for a year.”
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, it seemed to be a big PR stunt—the Home Isolation Benefit Package – only to make it appear that Philhealth has such a program for its members,” Binay said.
The senator said she discovered the gaps in the CHIBP’s implementation this week when exploring the PhilHealth’s website to find out how members could avail themselves of the package.
“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.
Meanwhile, the Department of Health will soon launch its own COVID-19 home care kit, Health Secretary Francisco Duque III said.
The “Kalinga Kit” will be composed of 5 pieces of anti-virus masks, alcohol, thermometer, paracetamol, and lagundi, Duque said.
“We have about 35,000 put together. We’re asking other well-meaning companies to help us, to co-brand DOH with them,” Duque told ANC’s Headstart.