PhilHealth to probe alleged overcharging of patients in tents

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The Philippine Health Insurance Corporation or PhilHealth will investigate reports of a hospital charging patients ₱1,000 per hour for staying in tents. (FILE PHOTO)

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, April 2) — The Philippine Health Insurance Corporation or PhilHealth will investigate reports of a hospital charging patients ₱1,000 per hour for staying in tents.

PhilHealth President and CEO Dante Gierran said PhilHealth packages currently cover RT-PCR tests, isolation in accredited community isolation units, and hospitalization for mild to critical cases of COVID-19. He made this clarification after a lawmaker reported that his colleague was overcharged while in a tent and the stay was not insured.

"[T]he reported charges of ₱1,000/hour will be investigated for possible violation of pertinent laws and rules," Gierran said in a statement on Friday.

Health Secretary Francisco Duque III earlier called the rate "highway robbery."

However, Gierran also mentioned that the insurance does not include non-accredited isolation units. But he assured the public the agency will release "enhanced guidelines" to provide "adequate financial protection" to patients.

"Be it COVID-19 or not, patients should be afforded with all the financial help as guaranteed by the Universal Health Care Law," the PhilHealth chief said.