In a statement today, the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth) assured health workers that it would take care of their treatment expenses if they fall ill with COVID-19.
“In line with the desire of President Duterte to protect the welfare and uphold the morale of all health workers both in public and private health facilities, (Philhealth) wishes to announce that it will shoulder all medical expenses of all health workers should they fall ill during the period of the Covid 19 pandemic.”
The agency gave this assurance “in light of the recent law passed by Congress and signed by the President known as the Bayanihan to Heal As One Act or Republic Act No. 11469.”
Health care workers, according to Philhealth, “shall include those volunteers who have been asked to augment or reinforce the health workforce, and those non-medical personnel necessary for the operation of a health facility like janitors, security guards, and maintenance personnel.”
PhilHealth said it “is in the midst of releasing P30 billion worth of financial assistance to health facilities through its Interim Reimbursement Mechanism (IRM) to help hospitals respond to the COVID-19 threat.”
“This will include even those hospitals and clinics with existing issues or under sanctions with the national health insurer. Hospitals wishing to use this facility are advised to contact the PhilHealth personnel assigned to their area and accomplish a memorandum of agreement reflecting the amount applied for,” the agency wrote in its statement.
This procedure, Philhealth said, should be completed in not more than five working days.
As of March 25, PhilHealth has paid out a total of P 1.617 billion under the IRM program. In March 2020, it paid out P6.856 billion as part of its regular benefits payment and P2.96 billion under its accelerated Return To Hospital (RTH) program.
“PhilHealth stands solidly behind all health workers and all other front liners leading the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic,” the agency said.