Wider dialysis needed


A dialysis patient needs the treatment in order to live a more productive life. Dialysis is the process of removing waste and excess fluids from the body.

“When your kidneys fail, dialysis keeps your body in balance by: removing waste, salt and extra water to prevent them from building up in the body; keeping a safe level of certain chemicals in your blood, such as potassium, sodium and bicarbonate; and helping to control blood pressure,” says the National Kidney Institute.

In a way, siphoning Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth) funds by way of fictitious patients is like depriving Filipinos of proper health services.

The latest controversy involving WellMed and PhilHealth has exposed us once more to a certain rot that continues to afflict our society.

A recent report reveals that losses of P154 billion between 2013 and 2018 were incurred by PhilHealth “due to overpayment and fraud, and a ‘mafia’ behind the padded claims.”

Whistleblowers had disclosed how owners of the said dialysis center had allegedly instructed “employees to forge signatures of patients who had died on the medical claims the center submitted to the state health insurance firm.”

It is like the dead people listed as voters in elections past had risen anew to claim their “health” benefits. It is a sick proposition indeed.

President Rodrigo Duterte, in response to this mess, immediately asked for the resignation of all officials of PhilHealth. Meanwhile, the National Bureau of Investigation had arrested the owner of the dialysis center for “continuing crime” since some of the said fictitious claims are still pending.

“A clean slate” is what the Chief Executive wants — the total rehaul of another diseased part of our nation.

Aside from the massive revamp, it has also been recommended that the implementation of the Universal Health Care (UHC) law be “suspended” pending a search for “a trustworthy official to handle PhilHealth funds,” another news item said.

This bodes ill, of course, for all Filipinos already in dire need of health insurance and medical services, which the UHC law would have provided automatically.

In a way, this controversy, while nauseating and probably just one of “other alleged culpable practices within PhilHealth,” is a good start to removing “waste” and “excess” from a sick situation.