Palace urges PhilHealth to expand home isolation packages

Spread the love

MANILA – Malacañang is urging the Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (PhilHealth) to include free reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) testing in its Covid-19 Home Isolation Benefit Packages (CHIBP).

According to Acting Presidential Spokesperson and Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles, PhilHealth currently covers free testing only for patients who are symptomatic and are currently confined in public or private hospitals.

“We’re also pushing PhilHealth to increase the packages for home treatment. Those who are treating themselves at home can also be covered by PhilHealth. The PhilHealth package will also include RT-PCR,” he said in an interview over ABS-CBN News Channel’s Headstart.

The gold standard in detecting the virus that causes Covid-19 is RT-PCR testing.

The CHIBP is currently available to patients who meet both clinical and social criteria in surge areas declared by the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID).

Services under the package include home consultations for a minimum of 10 days, 24/7 daily monitoring of patients through teleconsultation, and provision of a home isolation kit which contains: 1L 70 percent alcohol, five pieces face mask, 1 thermometer, 1 pulse oximeter, drugs and medicines (18 pieces Paracetamol, 12 pieces Lagundi tablets or equivalent, six sachets oral rehydration salts, 10 pieces Ascorbic Acid, 10 pieces Vitamin D and zinc), and a consent form.

If the condition of patients worsens during home isolation, CHIBP providers may refer them to higher-level facilities. However, if the patient dies while in home isolation, the facility can still file a claim.

Senatorial candidate and Sorsogon Governor Francis “Chiz” Escudero had previously urged the Department of Health (DOH) to make RT-PCR testing more affordable and accessible, if not free, in order to encourage the public to get tested and help control the spread of Covid-19.

President Rodrigo Duterte signed Executive Order (EO) No. 118 on November 4, directing the Department of Health (DOH) and the Department of Trade and Industry to develop and implement a price range for RT-PCR testing.

RT-PCR tests currently have a price cap ranging from PHP1,000 to PHP3,000.

Previously, the price cap for RT-PCR tests is PHP3,800 for public laboratories/hospitals and PHP4,500 to PHP5,000 for private laboratories, all costs included.

Meanwhile, the DOH has set at PHP960 the price cap for rapid antigen testing.

House committees to hold hearings during break

Spread the love

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.