President Rodrigo Duterte on Saturday was considering conducting a revamp of top officials of the Philippine Health Insurance Corp. as the Chief Executive directed the National Bureau of Investigation to arrest and probe the owners of a dialysis facility in Quezon City that made “ghost dialysis” procedures to non-existent kidney treatments.
The President issued the statement in an interview over Pastor Apollo Quiboloy’s television show on Sonshine Media Network in Davao, due to allegations of misuse of billions of government funds through bogus kidney treatments.
“When I go back, I will make an announcement, I maybe reshuffling the PhilHealth [management],” Duterte said.
In the interview, the President said there was an immediate need to reshuffle the PhilHealth management to stop corruption and put to jail people behind the illegal activity.
“I have to reorganize your entity, change maybe all of you and install more systems of accounting and accountability,” Duterte.
“PhilHealth needs business people as accounting money is purely management,” Duterte said while he expressed disappointment on how billions of pesos worth of funds were used to pay for the treatment of those already dead.
“The sheer amount of 100 something billion is totally, totally unacceptable to me,” he said.
Because of the anomaly, Duterte tapped the NBI to arrest and probe the owners WellMed Dialysis and Laboratory Center in Novaliches, Quezon City for misrepresentation and falsification.
According to a published report, a former employee of WellMed exposed that PhilHealth continued paying for the dialysis treatments of a patient who had died in 2016.
“ I want WellMed arrested and investigated for making fraudulent claims,” the President said in the interview.
“I am ordering you the NBI… the NBI should take over by tomorrow and start to summon everybody and the owner of that Wellness thing where these fraudulent claims were discovered. Arrest them. That is my order. Arrest them. Place there in your blotter ninyo,” Duterte said.
“Arrest them and investigate them right away. No ifs, no buts… If a lawyer attempts to interfere, tell him it’s my order,” he added.
The President said once proven, hospitals and doctors involved might be charged with syndicated estafa, a non-bailable offense.
The President was also shocked on why the amount reached almost P200 million without the necessary checks along the way? “It’s like going through a highway without the checkpoints,” he said.
“Was there a kind of checks that you install? Because if none then we have fallen short of our duty to really protect the money,” the President said.
While the President wants a total revamp of the said agency, Duterte continues to trust the integrity and honesty of Roy Ferrer, the acting operations officer of the agency, saying it was Ferrer who pushed for the prosecution of those involved in the misuse of the state health insurance funds.
On Thursday, a news report said Edwin Roberto and Liezl Santos, former employees of the WellMed Dialysis and Laboratory Center Corp. in Novaliches, Quezon City, claimed that PhilHealth continued paying for the dialysis of the center’s dead patients without checking the validity of the claims.
The PhilHealth on Saturday clarified that the alleged overpayments made in its claims amounting to P154 billion in the past six years are efficiency gains, a feature in the case rates payment system that the agency was implementing. With PNA