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‘Injustice to Pinoys’: Lee calls out PhilHealth for 5% premium hike

IMG-011a6daedebde8b3d439216a686e4408-V.jpgAGRI Party-list Rep. Wilbert T. Lee (Rep. Lee’s office)

An injustice to Filipinos.

This was how AGRI Party-list Rep. Wilbert T. Lee described the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation’s (PhilHealth) impending five percent increase in premium rates this year.

Lee, who recently urged PhilHealth to apply the 30 percent across-the-board increase in its offered health benefits, was expectedly dismayed over the agency’s latest action.

“Nalulungkot at nadidismaya po tayo na mukhang mauuna pang maipatupad ang dagdag na singil sa premium ng PhilHealth doon sa matagal na nating panawagan na 30 percent increase sa lahat ng benefit packages and coverage ng ahensya,” the lawmaker said in a statement on Monday, Jan. 15.

(We are saddened and disappointed since it appears that PhilHealth’s premium hike will be implemented before our long-standing call for a 30 percent increase in all the agency’s benefit packages and coverage.)

“Habang pinatatagal ang pagpapatupad ng hinihingi nating increase, marami ang pinipiling tiisin na lang ang karamdaman kaysa magpagamot at marami din ang di-magkandaugaga sa pag-aalala kung saan kukuha ng pambayad sa ospital,” he noted.

(While the implementation of our desired increase is being delayed, many people choose to endure their illness rather than seek treatment and many are also restless amid concerns of where to get payment for hospital bills.)

On Friday, PhilHealth announced that its premium rate will increase from the current four percent to five percent, as scheduled under the Universal Health Care (UHC) law.

This additional revenue for the agency is intended to be used in expanding the benefits and programs it offers to its members.

In his statement, Lee insisted that PhilHealth has enough funds to cover the much-needed increases in benefits. Lee said it has P466 billion worth of investible funds and a P68.4 billion net income, as revealed during a Department of Health (DOH) budget hearing last September.

“Anong pakinabang ng sobra-sobrang pondo sa PhilHealth kung natutulog lang ito sa bangko at hindi nagagamit pandagdag sa serbisyo para sa mga miyembro?” the Bicolano solon stressed.

(What is the use of excess funds in PhilHealth if it just sleeps in the bank and is not used to increase the services for its members?)

“Malaking kasalanan at inhustisya ito kung hindi agad gamitin para tulungan at pagaanin ang pasanin ng mga nangangailangan,” he added.

(It is a great sin and injustice if it is not immediately used to help and lighten the burden of those in need.)

With this huge amount of idle funds, Lee argued that the agency should impose unlimited coverage for its dialysis sessions, chemotherapy, heart bypass surgery, and other diagnostic tests and preventive measures.

The rookie congressman said that PhilHeath should finally put an end to Filipinos’ worry of getting sick because of the high costs in quality medical care.

“Kung ang mayayaman nga naba-bankrupt ‘pag tinamaan ng malubhang sakit, paano pa ang mahihirap nating kababayan?” he asked.

(If the rich can go bankrupt when they are affected by a serious illness, what more our poor countrymen?)

Credit belongs to : www.mb.com.ph

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