The labor group, Partido Manggagawa (PM) is asking the Inter-Agency Task Force (AITF) to flag down the plan by Philhealth to stop its full cost coverage in the treatment of COVID-19 patients beyond April, saying that the program must be ‘need-based’ rather than tied on the lockdown calendar imposed by the President.
“The massive testing will only start by April 14, but here is Philhealth running away from the program at the time it is most needed. We demand that it extend its full cost coverage program for COVID patients as needed, especially for the poor who were outdistanced by VIPs in the first round of testing and treatment. Masama kung pati sa Philhealth ay may nauna pa rin sa pila,” stated PM Chair Renato Magtubo.
In a letter to all accredited hospitals and health care facilities accommodating COVID-19 patients, PhilHealth President and CEO Ricardo Morales said Philhealth will shoulder the full cost of treatment for all COVID-19 cases until April 14, 2020. After that, the health fund is going back to the case rate system.
The labor group, however, argued that at present Philhealth is the only health financing institution that can provide poor people that kind of assistance as most of the healthcare programs under the Universal Health Care (UHC) law remain underfunded. The rest are for-profit high-end private facilities.
Experts likewise project an increase in the number of patients as a result of massive testing and they are one in saying that the Philippines may yet to reach its peak by May or June this year.
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