The debt the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth) owes to the Philippine Red Cross (PRC) has soared to almost P800 million for the state insurer’s continued COVID-19 testing services.
The rising amount was disclosed by Senator and PRC chairman Richard Gordon during a radio interview on Sunday, January 3.
PRC does not charge front line health care personnel and other sectors for its COVID-19 swab tests. It is PhilHealth which shoulders the costs of the tests.
In an interview with radio station DZBB, Gordon said that the PRC might again be force terminate its testing services if PhilHealth’s debt climbs to P1 billion.
Gordon was referring to the PRC’s decision on October 15, to stop conducting free COVID-19 tests for overseas Filipino workers (OFWs), medical frontliners, and other Filipinos because of the state health insurer’s P930-million debt to the PRC.
The DOH was negatively affected by that move.
“It’s scary because their debt’s now P800 million because we test every day and they pay P100 million every 3 days. Sometimes it reaches a week so their debt balloons every 3 days,” Gordon said in the interview with DZBB.
PhilHealth earlier announced that it was implementing higher contribution rates in 2021. The state insurer said that while it recognized the pandemic still had a negative impact on Filipinos, it is bound to implement the UHC Law that aimed for “better healthcare services.” (READ: Filipinos to pay higher PhilHealth contributions in 2021) – Rappler.com