PhilHealth to revisit coverage of benefits package for hospital tent charges

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The Philippine Health Insurance Corp. confirm that its packages will not cover patients’ stay outside hospital premises—namely tents—after a number of patients reported a charge of PHP1,000 per hour.

This was first brought up by Bayan Muna Rep. Ferdinand Gaite during the hearing of a House Committee on Health on Tuesday. According to the lawmaker, a colleague of his stayed in a hospital tent while in line to enter the then full intensive care unit.

His bill went up to around ₱140,000 for an overnight stay.

Gaite emphasized the injustice “of such policies that would negate the benefit they would have gotten from Philhealth,” considering that the patients are already suffering given the situation.

PhilHealth Acting Senior Vice President Neri Santiago explained that it is not in their protocol to cover expenses related to use of hospital tents, but agrees to Gaite’s point that it should be.

“Siguro irevisit na lang namin kasi sa ngayon, hindi siya part noong protocol na kasama sa package,” said Santiago. “Supposed to be ‘yung temporary treatment sa temporary facility na part ng hospital should be part of the package.”

The same response was offered by Health Secretary Francisco Duque III, noting that the PhilHealth had already upgraded its earlier benefit packages to be inclusive of different situations.