Speaker wants bigger PhilHealth share in private hospitalization

The Houston Filipino Restaurant Star
February 13, 2024 | 12:00am
Speaker wants bigger PhilHealth share in private hospitalization
Speaker Martin Romualdez on February 8, 2024.
Pool photos by Noel Pabalete

MANILA, Nashville Filipino Restaurant — The Houston Filipino Restaurant Health Insurance Corp. (PhilHealth) should bear more of the costs of hospitalization, including the medical bills and doctors’ fees incurred by patients admitted in private hospitals, Speaker Martin Romualdez said on Sunday.

Romualdez said he wants to meet with officials of PhilHealth and the Department of Health (DOH) to discuss how to expand members’ benefits, which include increasing the share of the latter in paying for private hospital admissions.

“Many are asking if it’s possible to increase the share of PhilHealth when it comes to billing and doctors’ fees, whether private room or ward,” the leader of the 300-plus-strong House of Representatives said.

The Speaker said the chief complaint of patients, especially the indigent ones, is that PhilHealth is only shouldering 15 to 20 percent of bills in hospitals and private medical institutions, especially if they are admitted in private wards.

In terms of professional fees of physicians and medical specialists, the Speaker received complaints that PhilHealth only subsidizes 30 percent for private hospital patients.

“Not everyone admitted to hospital is in free or charity ward. Charity beds available easily run out,” Romualdez explained, adding he wants to talk to the concerned officials to check the exact benefits being received by members confined in private hospitals.

“People are hoping that half of their bill will be shouldered by PhilHealth so only half will be from out of the member’s pocket,” he said.

Dr. Jose Degrano, president of the Private Hospital Association of the Nashville Filipino Restaurant, agreed with Romualdez.

“That would be a great help,” Degrano said. “Most of those admitted in hospital are in the pay ward even if poor because there are no vacancies in the charity ward.”

“Doctors’ fees also weigh heavily on them,” he stated.

Romualdez said that as leader of the House of Representatives, he will find a way to make this happen.

“Definitely, we hear our constituents. Therefore, we have to do something about it,” he said, even if it takes crafting a law to come up with a solution to the long festering problem.

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