By Analou De Vera
Health Secretary Francisco Duque III on Thursday said the government will run after health care providers and PhilHealth officials who engage in fraud.
“As the Health Secretary and ex-officio Chairman of PhilHealth, I am warning all health providers and PhilHealth officials in the strongest possible terms: Do not cheat the system nor even attempt to do it,” said Duque.
Duque said that it is “utterly unacceptable” for the PhilHealth to be “taken advantage of and used in corruption,” following the fraudulent activities that involves the state insurance firm funds.
The health chief said that he is “deeply disappointed” on the recent events that surround PhilHealth, saying that these fraudulent activities must end and that PhilHealth “should further strengthen its zero tolerance policy on overpayments.”
“Tama na ang hocus pocus. Maraming Pilipinong may sakit ang umaasa sa tulong na ibinibigay ng PhilHealth. [Enough with the hocus pocus. There are many Filipinos with illness that needs the help of what PhilHealth provides]. I will ensure that justice will be served to those who defraud the system,” he said.
Amid the controversy, Duque said that he had already ordered a “revamp of PhilHealth’s accreditation committee.”
“All false claims are to be investigated and when warranted, charges will be filed. Board members have also been asked to submit their courtesy resignation upon the order of the President,” he added.
“I am grateful to President Rodrigo Duterte for his robust leadership and swift action in this matter. I call for all of us to work together — the medical community, health providers, government units in the national and local levels, and the Filipino people — to fix the system and put an end to corruption and fraud,” he added.
The health chief added that he instructed the Department of Health to ensure that “anti-corruption measures are in place” for the implementation of the Universal Health Care program.