By Genalyn Kabiling
Around P12.3 billion has been released by Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth) to accredited hospitals to boost their response to the coronavirus pandemic, President Duterte said in his latest weekly report to Congress.
Among the recipients of the PhilHealth support are the Southern Philippines Medical Center in Davao City, UP-Philippine General Hospital in Manila, Davao Regional Medical Center in Tagum City, and Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center in Cebu City.
“The PhilHealth has released P12.321 billion to 494 PhilHealth-accredited health care institutions through its Interim Reimbursement Mechanism (IRM) as of 6 May 2020,” the President said.
Duterte said PhilHealth has also paid 3.6 million (3,609,858) PhilHealth claims amounting to P35.35 billion (P35,356,559,369.46), with check payment dates from January 1 to May 6.
The President’s report to Congress included the list of hospitals that received PhilHealth funds as of May 6.
The 10 hospitals with the biggest PhilHealth allocations are the Southern Medical Philippines Medical Center, P326 million; UP-Philippine General Hospital, P263.3 million; Davao Regional Medical Center in Tagum City, P209 million; Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center in Cebu City, P204 million; and Jose B. Lingad Memorial Regional Hospital, San Fernando City Pampanga, P201 million.
Also included in the list are National Kidney and Transplant Institute in Quezon City, P179 million; Baguio General Hospital and Medical Center in Baguio City, P164 million; Northern Mindanao Medical Center in Cagayan de Oro City, P150.2 million; Quirino Memorial Medical Center in Quezon City, P150 million; and Eastern Visayas Regional Center in Tacloban City, P146.2 million.
PhilHealth earlier vowed to cover the treatment costs of coronavirus patients through its new case rate packages starting April 15.
The care benefit package for coronavirus patients will be as follows: mild pneumonia for P43,997, moderate pneumonia for P143,267, severe pneumonia for P333,519, and critical pneumonia for P786,384.
The state health insurance firm also committed to subsidize coronavirus tests ranging between P2,710 to P8,150.
As part of an agreement with the Philippine Red Cross, the President said PhilHealth has released P100 million as interim financing for coronavirus testing services.
Hiring of health workers
Meantime, the government continues to scale up facilities and resources for the health sector and other frontliners.
As of May 7, the President said the Department of Health has approved 3,042 emergency hire slots in 56 health facilities such as hospitals and quarantine facilities. Of the 3,084 slots, 968 health workers have been hired.
The country so far has 1,721 COVID-19 referral and accepting hospitals across the country, with 23 designated DOH COVID-referral hospitals.
There are 12,340 dedicated beds for COVID-19, with an average of 40.77 percent occupancy rate. The total number of mechanical ventilators has reached 1,937, of which 77.7 percent are available.
As of May 8, the government has started to use 71 out of the 117 converted evacuation centers as temporary health facilities, emergency operation centers, and food hubs.
To date, the Department of Education has approved the use of 2,110 school facilities for COVID-related concerns.
As of May 6, Duterte said the Bureau of Quarantine is manning a total of 73 quarantine facilities, including 58 hotels or facilities and 15 cruise ships, covering 10,210 repatriates.
Also as of May 6, Duterte said a total of 139,379 tests have been conducted on 131,786 persons. From May 2 to May 6, an average of 5,863 tests were conducted daily.
From May 1 to May 7, he said the Philippine Coast Guard has administered rapid tests on 6,911 repatriated Filipino workers at the Manila airports and sea ports. Since April 23, around 14,430 have been tested through this activity.
The Coast Guard also conducted rapid tests on 8,029 overseas Filipino workers quarantined in hotels, 1,936 OFWs on cruise ships, and 180 government personnel.
Stay Safe tracking, FASSSTER
As of May 7, Duterte said the Stay Safe tracking website has obtained 530,000 registered users. The Department of Information and Communications Technology is reviewing its interoperability with other coronavirus-related systems.
Around 35 provinces and 24 municipalities and cities are using FASSSTER, a web-based disease surveillance platform, or undergoing training for its users, according to the President.
He said the Department of Budget and Management has also released funds for the procurement of 1,500 units of mechanical ventilators to the Department of Health.
A total of 211,205 personal protective equipment (PPE) sets procured by DBM have been distributed to various health facilities.