Hospitals reminded of ‘obligation’ to medical frontliners

THE Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (PhilHealth) has reiterated that medical frontliners and allied workers are entitled to full hospitalization coverage should they contract the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) for the duration of the pandemic.

The agency made this announcement to remind all hospitals in the country that they should not be charging any co-payment against patients whose job is in the medical front lines.

The call, PhilHealth said, is in support of President Rodrigo Duterte’s appeal to afford health care workers and frontliners with all possible support in recognition of the risks they endure on a day-to-day basis to help treat patients of the highly infectious disease.

It is also in line with its Circular 2020-0011 issued on April 14, 2020, which guaranteed “full financial risk protection for Filipino health workers and patients against the coronavirus disease.”

The circular defined health workers as “persons engaged in health and health-related work, regardless of employment status, which include doctors, nurses, allied health professionals, administrative and support personnel in health facilities, utility and security personnel working in health facilities, health volunteers deployed in health facilities and staff and personnel working in government health agencies.”

To date, the PhilHealth Office 7 has paid about P13 million on benefit claims pertaining to hospitalization due to Covid-19.

Aside from full coverage, these health workers are also entitled to PhilHealth benefits for the Sars-CoV-2 testing package ranging from P901 to P3,409 as stipulated in its Circular 2020-0017.

There are four accredited Sars-CoV-2 testing centers in Central Visayas: the Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center in Cebu City, the Allegiant Regional Care Hospitals Inc. in Lapu-Lapu City, the Cebu TB Reference Laboratory in Cebu City and the Prime Care Alpha Covid-19 Testing Laboratory at the Mactan-Cebu International Airport.

PhilHealth said hospitals can face sanctions if found to have refused admission or charged co-payment to any health workers exposed to and treated for Covid-19.

It also asked for broader public support to invoke this privilege granted by law and to immediately report any information of abuse or negligence on the part of health care providers. (WBS with PR)


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