Risa asks PhilHealth to scrap ‘expiry date’ on free dialysis

Risa asks PhilHealth to scrap ‘expiry date’ on free dialysis

Sen. Risa Hontiveros

By Junex Doronio

MANILA — CITING THE EXORBITANT COST, Senator Risa Hontiveros on Thursday asked the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth) to make permanent its increased coverage of free 144-session dialysis.

“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,” Hontiveros said.

In a statement, the opposition senator thanked PhilHealth but pressed that the state health insurer should remove the “expiration date” on the expanded coverage of free dialysis sessions.

“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,” Hontiveros said.

She added: “Kaya iminumungkahi ko na gawing permanente ito para hindi na malito sa pabago-bagong polisiya.”

Earlier, PhilHealth announced that it has approved extending the coverage of hemodialysis sessions from 90 up to a maximum of 144 sessions. The sessions can be availed up until December 31, 2020.

Before this announcement, some dialysis center had stopped giving free session due to the lack of rules and regulations from PhilHealth.

Hontiveros also urged the PhilHealth to release the guidelines for the circular and monitor dialysis centers after receiving complaints that many centers still refuse to comply with their memorandum.

“I ask PhilHealth to immediately release the implementing rules and regulations (IRR) para wala ng palusot ang mga dialysis center na ayaw mag-comply (So they won’t have any excuse not to comply),” she said.

Hontiveros also advised the patients and support groups like Dialysis PH Support Group Inc. to report non-compliant dialysis centers to PhilHealth for better monitoring.

“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, (PhilHealth should strictly monitor them and I hope support groups would also help them monitor),” she said. (AI/MTVN)

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