THE Provincial Government is now scrutinizing the implementation of the Negros Occidental Comprehensive Health Care (NOCHP) which has a budget of P100 million this year.
Provincial Administrator Rayfrando Diaz said NOCHP is now undergoing a thorough review after the internal audit and Accounting Office noted systematic problems in terms of spending the money allocated for the program.
Diaz said NOCHP has no proper guidelines.
At the start of the NOCHP implementation in 2010, the six Negros Occidental solons allocated a portion of their PDAF (Priority Development Assistance Fund) to augment province NOCHP trust fund.
Noting that the situation has changed, Diaz said there is now a question on the propriety of creating a trust fund since there is no more pooling of resources among Negros solons for NOCHP.
Since the provincial government is left alone to allocate funds, Diaz said the consensus of Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson and the department heads is that NOCHP budget will be put in the general fund, instead of a trust fund.
Diaz said they are looking into the problems of non-availability of medicines in provincial managed-hospitals, thus, failing to address the medical needs of NOCHP beneficiaries.
Furthermore, he also noted huge cash advancement of NOCHP coordinators in the different government-managed hospitals, in buying medicines from pharmacies outside, which is expensive, that is supposed to be an additional income for government health facilities.
After conducting an inquiry, Diaz said he was told that NOCHP failure to settle P26-million debts was the reason behind why government hospitals failed to provide the much needed medicines to NOCHP patients.
On top of it, he also reported that NOCHP owes P4 million to pharmacies outside of hospitals.
Diaz, however, denied that NOCHP will be abolished, stressing that it is a good program.
“What we are reviewing is the system, which has so many loopholes and avenues that raised questions,” he added.
While they have a budget of P84 million in 2019, they still have debts of P30 million, Diaz said. He added however that they are now working with NOCHP to correct what needs to be corrected.
He also stressed the need to conduct an inventory of all its standing members and updating on NOCHP data-based members and their dependents.
There are 326,868 Negrenses enrolled in NOCHP, as of January this year. A NOCHP cardholder and his dependents are entitled to free outpatient care that includes consultations with full course treatment and medicines, and subsidized in-patient care in provincial government-run hospitals and other participating government hospitals.
Since the program started in 2010 until December last year, NOCHP records showed that the program spent P322,645,976.42 for its 523,537 member-patients and their dependents.