PhilHealth execs flag health conditions ahead of second hearing

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Amid continuing investigations on his agency’s corruption allegations, the chief of the Philippine Health Insurance Corp (PhilHealth) has been advised by his doctor to take a leave while undergoing chemotherapy for lymphoma. 

In a medical certificate submitted to the Senate Committee of the Whole, currently investigating alleged anomalies at PhiHealth, the attending oncologist of PhilHealth president and CEO Ricardo Morales said he was going through cancer treatment at the Cardinal Santos Medical Center. 

Morales will be missing the continuation of the Senate investigation into PhilHealth set on Tuesday. 

“He is advised to complete 6 cycles of treatment during which he will be immunocompromised and vulnerable to opportunistic infections. It is, therefore, in his best interest that I have advised him to take a leave of absence,” said the oncologist, on the document dated August 7 and released to the public on Saturday.

Morales will go through a repeat PET CT scan following his chemotherapy cycles, “after which I shall make a recommendation when he can resume work,” the doctor said.

Another PhilHealth official, Executive Vice President and COO Arnel De Jesus, also sought to be excused from the next Senate hearing, citing several illnesses and treatment for them.

In his letter to Senate President Vicente Sotto III, De Jesus said he won’t be able to appear on the August 11 hearing “due to an unforeseen medical emergency.” It cited 6 illnesses, including heart disease and diabetes. 

PhilHealth is facing legislative investigations from both chambers of the Congress and task force probe over allegations of corruption within the state-run insurance firm. Resigned anti-fraud officer, lawyer Thorrsson Montes Keith, claimed that some top PhilHealth officials had pocketed around P15 billion in funds through various schemes. 

He also claimed that several items for the agency’s IT department were overpriced and padded by the millions.

House committees to hold hearings during break

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Spread the loveMANILA – The House of Representatives has authorized for its committees to conduct hearings during the five-week congressional break, extending until late April.