By Leilani S. Junio
MANILA, Nov. 9 (PNA) — The Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth) has reimbursed a total of Php 320 million to the hospitals and makeshift tents that provided medical treatment to injured and hospitalized survivors of typhoon “Yolanda” that damaged many hospital facilities in the Visayas region in November last year.
This was disclosed over the weekend by PhilHealth President and CEO Alexander A. Padilla who said that immediately after the super typhoon caused severe destruction not only to the lives and properties of the people but also to other facilities like hospitals, PhilHealth decided to provide immediate assistance to those who were injured or got sick because of the typhoon.
“Through an advisory we issued, we announced that PhilHealth had quite loosen its policy in terms of reimbursing because we realized at that time that due to severe destruction of hospital facilities, there was a need to encourage licensed makeshift hospitals and tents to continue treating the injured victims,” Padilla said.
According to him, the said advisory served as an assurance for the makeshift hospitals that provided medical treatment to the injured typhoon victims or those who got sick due to “Yolanda” that PhilHealth was willing to make advance reimbursement as long as there was continuous treatment and medical services in order not to deprive the victims of their right to have access to medical attention.
Padilla said that both PhilHeath and non-PhilHealth members were given the opportunity to seek medical treatment so that no one would be left behind as long as the makeshift hospitals and attending physicians are PhilHealth-accredited.
He added that in recognition of the need to deliver immediate medical assistance to the victims, they made an advance payment to PhilHealth-accredited hospitals with license to operate in makeshifts tents instead of following the usual or standard procedure wherein PhilHealth only makes payment after the computation of the costs of medical services extended by the hospital.
“In advancing the payment to the hospitals, we computed up to 143 days the usual reimbursement that they collect from PhilHealth as part of the mechanisms that we employed to enhance the services to the needy Yolanda victims at that time,” Padilla said. (PNA)