With the government’s inability to control the rise of COVID-19 cases in the country, community health advocates are up in arms over the government’s response that, for the last 500 or so days, mainly resorted to stricter lockdowns.
It doesn’t take much imagination to picture some of President Rodrigo Duterte’s officials shaking their heads or slapping their foreheads and muttering “why on earth did he say that?” when their boss of bosses blurts out something patently absurd, incoherent, or completely off during one of his late night television appearances. After all, not every…
Gierran himself admitted to media interviews of being “very scared” with the new tasks ahead as he does not know public health. Putting another retired military or NBI officials with little or no experience may put people’s lives in peril, according to CURE Covid.
“The widespread corruption in the government is the reason why OFWs are strongly against the planned mandatory PhilHealth and premium rate hike. OFWs cannot entrust the government that their hard-earned money will benefit their families and the rest of the Filipino people.”
The alleged corruption issues came on the heels of an apparent lack of concrete plans of the government to curb the local transmission of the COVID-19, inadequate testing and contact tracing capacity, an overwhelmed health system, and the scant social protection for the poor and displaced workers.
This means that only those with mild pneumonia could be fully covered by Philhealth. Those with moderate, severe and critical pneumonia will have to shell out payments from their own pockets, ranging from 35 percent to 88 percent for an eight-day confinement. For severe and critical pneumonia, Philhealth will only cover nine percent to 21 percent of the total cost for a 16-day hospitalization.
Despite these scandals, Philhealth will still lead and manage the implementation of the Universal Health Care, and be entrusted to manage “humongous huge amount of money” from member premiums, public funding through the General Appropriations Act (GAA) and shares from PAGCOR and sin taxes.
The 2018 budget for public hospitals was cut by P1.5 billion.
“Risa Hontiveros was not even able to address a number of PhilHealth controversies, such as the protested case rates, glaring hospital and clinic reimbursements, increase in out-of-pocket health expenditure and millions worth of bonuses and perks given to PhilHealth executives.”
A recent IBON study among PhilHealth beneficiaries reveals how health services in the country have deteriorated and become more costly for the public
“From the start, Gabriela has been pushing to abolish Philhealth and to give its budget to hospitals directly for spending on medicines, supplies, and salaries of health workers. Now the public really sees no benefits from this agency, and taxpayers are even burdened with paying for the bonuses of its officials, as if we are rewarding them for their botched job performance.” – Gabriela Women’s Party Re. Emmi de Jesus