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Roque assures NHS won’t be business as usual

UniTeam senatorial candidate Harry Roque said his proposed creation of a “National Health Service” (NHS) to replace the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth) would ensure that the government takes all positive steps to protect the Filipinos’ right to health.

Roque assured that the NHS would not be ‘a same dog but a different collar’ kind of agency. It would go after corrupt PhilHealth officials and employees and recover any missing funds in PhilHealth.

In pushing for the NHS as a top legislative priority, Roque stressed that corruption in PhilHealth was at the same level as corruption in the internal revenue and customs bureaus.

But PhilHealth’s case has more ignominy, he says, because the agency deals with public health and people’s lives.

Roque expressed disappointment that no erring PhilHealth personnel and their accomplices responsible for ‘upcasing’ medical conditions of patients to avail of health insurance benefits have been punished to this day.

As the principal author of the Universal Health Care law, Roque exposed health insurance fraud and other anomalies at PhilHealth during a House Committee investigation at the 17th Congress.

“Once the National Health Service is in place, all PhilHealth personnel will undergo evaluation, and all records will be scrutinized to find out individuals that authorized these spurious health benefit claims,” Roque said.

He said that private hospitals would also be asked to identify health care providers that conspired with other parties in defrauding the government.

“Instances where poor people are enticed with grocery items by unscrupulous health care personnel to get hospitalized for bigger PhilHealth benefits will be eliminated,” Roque said.

“Senior citizens who are being used for fraudulent cataract operation claims will be stopped,” Roque stated. “We won’t hear reports of ghost dialysis anymore,” he said.

Roque said the National Health Service would become a better Universal Health Care (UHC) implementer than PhilHealth. The new agency provides stringent safety nets so that funding will not be lost to corrupt practices.

The UHC’s implementation is chiefly funded by the health department, sin taxes, Philippine Games and Amusement Corporation (PAGCOR), Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO).

“The Filipinos right to health is an obligation of the Philippine government,” Roque said.

“A corrupt-free agency like the National Health Service provides superior health insurance coverage and more efficacious implementation of universal health care to the public,” he added.


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