Duterte to meet PhilHealth board over ''ghost dialysis'' claims
President Rodrigo Duterte is set to meet the members of the board of Philippine Health Insurance Corp ( PhilHealth) to explain the alleged billions of pesos in “ghost dialysis” claims.
“There is a schedule this afternoon,” Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said in a press briefing Monday.
“They will report (to the president), he instructed them to make a comprehensive report on what is happening in PhilHealth,” he said.
Panelo said Duterte is eyeing a possible reshuffle or reorganization of the agency and it will be up to him whether he will remove some officials.
“But given that he has publicly acknowledge his trust on the president (Roy Ferrer), I don’t think there will be,” he said.
“(The reorganization) depends on the report of PhilHealth board… but certainly he wants to clean up the alleged irregularities,” said Panelo.
Panelo said the president is also confident with the board members unless there will be proof that one or two persons are involved in the incident.
“What I understand is PhilHealth board has been conducting investigation and in fact has file several administrative complaints. They are the ones cleaning the PhilHealth,” he said.
“If there is any connivance, maybe on the lower management. But let’s wait on the investigation,” he said.
Panelo said it’s the president who called for the meeting but no officials from WellMed Dialysis Center, who allegedly made fraudulent claims were invited.
On the suggestion of former presidential spokesperson Harry Roque to temporary suspend the service of PhilHealth, Panelo said suspension will only affect many Filipino beneficiaries. “The idea is not good,” he said.
“Common sense will tell you that if you stop an operation of a public service outfit then you affect the entire service. All the Filipinos will be affected. If the problem is the irregularities then you solve the irregularities, you don’t stop the operation,” he added.
Duterte on Sunday ordered the Philippine National Police and National Bureau of Investigation to investigate and arrest the officials of WellMed Dialysis Center.
Duterte expressed alarm over the billions of pesos claimed by the company and also ordered investigation against PhilHealth officials for conspiracy.
"And to those hospital officials, you might want to just surrender… The Filipino people is demanding for truth. I'm very much interested to find out what happened to the money," he said. Ella Dionisio/DMS