Davao City hospital had the lion’s share of reimbursement for COVID-19 patients — PhilHealth reveals

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A hospital located in Davao City got the lion’s share of reimbursement for COVID-19 patients, a Philippine Health Insurance Corporation’s (PhilHealth) legal counsel said on Tuesday.

Davao City is where the President’s daughter, Sara Duterte, is current Mayor.

President Rodrigo Duterte is former mayor of Davao City.

The Southern Philippines Medical Center in Davao City has received the biggest amount of compensation under the PhilHealth Interim Reimbursement Mechanism (IRM) for COVID-19 patients, receiving a hefty P326 million.

PhilHealth’s corporate legal counsel Lawyer Roberto Labe Jr. revealed these figures during the Senate hearing on alleged irregularities in PhilHealth on Tuesday.

Following the SPMC was the University of the Philippines – Philippine General Hospital in Manila with P263.3 million; Davao Regional Medical Center in Tagum City with P209 million; Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center in Cebu City with P204 million; and, Jose B. Lingad Memorial Regional Hospital in the City of San Fernando with P201 million.

This was followed by the National Kidney and Transplant Institute in Quezon City with P179 million; Baguio General Hospital and Medical Center with P165 million; Northern Mindanao Medical Center with P150.2 million; Quirino Memorial Medical Center with P150 million; and, Eastern Visayas Regional Medical Center in Tacloban City with P146.2 million.

Data from the Department of Health showed that the top regions with confirmed cases of COVID-19 are as follows:

Metro Manila with 75,399 cases;  Central Visayas with 17,653;  Calabarzon with 17,243;  Central Luzon with 4,072 cases;  and Western Visayas with 2,158 cases.

Labe revealed these figures after former PhilHealth anti-fraud legal officer Thorrsson Montes Keith said PhilHealth officials pocketed some P15 billion through fraudulent schemes in the state insurance firm, including the distribution of IRM funds and the procurement of information technology system.

PhilHealth has denied the claim.

However, Labe said that all distribution of funds under the IRM was covered by corresponding receipts.

“All the releases have been provided with receipts. IRM was not pocketed by anyone as alleged,” he assured during the hearing.

IRM is an emergency cash advance measure of PhilHealth to provide hospitals with an emergency fund to respond to natural disasters and calamities.

According to Labe, the IRM was also released to HCIs as it has been recognized internationally as a “good practice” in responding to the COVID-19 pandemic./Stacy Ang

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