Senator Risa Hontiveros urged the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth) to institutionalize their increased coverage of free 144-dialysis sessions so that more can avail of the benefit beyond 2020.
“I thank PhilHealth for having this consideration for dialysis patients, pero wag na natin lagyan ng expiration date ang pribilehiyong ito, lalo na sa panahon ng malalang sakuna at pandemya,” she said.
“The 144 session PhilHealth coverage isn’t just crucial just because we are in a public health emergency. Dialysis is life-saving, but it is a massive financial burden to have to cash out 12,000 pesos a week, with or without an economic crisis. Kaya iminumungkahi ko na gawing permanente ito para hindi na malito sa pabago-bagong polisiya,” she said.
Hontiveros, who made the initial call to expand the benefits for dialysis patients, also asked the agency to release the guidelines for the circular and monitor dialysis centers after receiving complaints that many centers still refuse to comply with their memorandum. She also asked patients and support groups like Dialysis PH Support Group, Inc. to report non-compliant dialysis centers to PhilHealth for better monitoring.
“I ask PhilHealth to immediately release the implementing rules and regulations (IRR) para wala ng palusot ang mga dialysis center na ayaw mag-comply. I am warning non-compliant dialysis centers that your accreditation can and will be revoked if you do not follow the circular. Dapat mahigpit itong i-monitor ng PhilHealth, at sana tulungan din sila ng mga support groups,” she said.
Hontiveros added that PhilHealth should make the process of reimbursement easier for those who already paid for their dialysis sessions, especially because ‘readily available cash is the lifeline of many Filipino families’.
“Kailangan ng mga Pilipino ang on-hand cash nila para sa mga pangangailangan ng mga pamilya nila. Wag natin i-delay ang pagkain ng mga gutom na gutom. Unahin natin ang kalusugan ng taumbayan. Pagaanin at iligtas natin ang buhay nila,” she concluded.