Abuses in PhilHealth should not go unpunished, says JV Ejercito

Published February 14, 2022, 12:49 PM

by Hannah Torregoza 

Individuals who misrepresent their illnesses to secure benefits from the Philippine Health Insurance Corp. or PhilHealths should be punished, former senator Joseph Victor “JV” Ejercito said.

In a recent interview, Ejercito said reports of patients who connive with doctors and hospitals to give false accounts of their illnesses to gain access to benefits allotted for severe conditions should be investigated.

“Kahit hindi COVID, dinedeklarang COVID para makakuha sa PhilHealth. It’s not really PhilHealth lang talaga ang may problema dito (Even if it was not COVID, they declare a patient had COVID, so they can get something from PhilHealth. It’s not really PhilHealth that has the problem here),” Ejercito said in an interivew on The Chiefs last weekend.

“It’s a collusion. Pasensya na, pero may ospital, may doktor, at may PhilHealth. So, talagang sabwatan ‘yan (I’m sorry, but there are hospitals, doctors, and PhilHealth. So, there really is a connivance),” he pointed out.

Ejercito, who is seeking a Senate comeback in the upcoming May 2022 elections noted that the

failure of law enforcers to apprehend violators tends to encourage this trend.

“Dapat talaga may maparusahan dito (Somebody should be punished here). In general, sa lahat ng corruption cases o scams, parang walang napaparusahan sa’tin (all corruption cases, or scams, it seems no one is being held liable here),” he said.

“Kaya walang nagtatanda. Walang natatakot (That’s why it keeps on repeating. No one is afraid),” added the former lawmaker.

“Nakakalungkot (It’s sad) but let us be honest. Walang big fish na nahuhuli sa’tin. Walang nakukulong (No big fish are getting arrested). That’s the sad reality of our judicial and political system,” he added.

Ejercito earlier vowed to oversee the implementation of the Universal Health Care Act or the UHC Law which he sponsored and pushed in the Senate should he win another term in the upcoming polls. The law mandates the PhilHealth to implement the UHC law’s policies and regulations.

According to Ejercito, he prefers the PhilHealth being run by finance experts in order to improve the state-run health insurance agency and its mechanisms for accountability.

“This is really not a health agency. This is more of a fund management agency. Dapat ang i-appoint po dito (the one who should be appointed here must be a) financial management expert with actuarial knowledge,” he said.