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12月10日のまにら新聞から

DOH, PhilHealth must find out if there are funds for free COVID-19 tests

[ 258 words|2020.12.10|英字 (English) ]

Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles on Wednesday said the Department of Health (DOH) and Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (PhilHealth) must assess whether there are enough funds for free COVID-19 testing for all Filipinos.

“The DOH and Philhealth (need) to assess (the free testing)… We have to be responsible about the funds that are currently with PhilHealth because (the testing) will be charged to them,” Nograles said in a virtual forum.

The Palace official made the statement after he was asked about the latest statement of President Rodrigo Duterte wanting the government to shoulder COVID-19 tests in public facilities.

“It’s a concept that must be studied. We need to see the actual numbers and the funds of PhilHealth if they can afford… At the very least, for those who can afford, they are lucky but for those who cannot afford, I think that’s where the government should come in and help,” Nograles said.

During his public address Monday night, Duterte said he realized the importance of testing the people after nine months into the pandemic and ordered Health Secretary Francisco Duque III to have a program where they can provide free COVID-19 testing in health centers.

"Free of charge. Target the first or second quarter if you can have a program where I can review and look for the money," Duterte said.

Duterte earlier ordered for a price cap on COVID-19 tests.

The Department of Trade and Industry set a price cap for swab tests at P3,800 in public facilities, and ?4,500 to ?5,000 in private hospitals and laboratories. Ella Dionisio/DMS