NBI may expand probe to include PhilHealth officials, other medical facilities
Officials of Philippine Health Insurance Corp., a government corporation, said June 6 it filed administrative cases against WellMed Dialysis and Laboratory Center in Novaliches, Quezon City last November for misrepresentation and falsification.
NBI may expand probe to include PhilHealth officials, other medical facilities
(Philstar.com) - June 13, 2019 - 6:35pm

MANILA, Philippines — Authorities are looking into the possible accountability of Philippine Health Insurance Corp. officials in the alleged money-making scheme where government funds were used to pay for non-existent kidney treatments.

The National Bureau of Investigation on Thursday presented to media WellMed Dialysis and Laboratory Center owner Bryan Sy, former WellMed employee Edwin Roberto and PhilHealth official Liezel de Guzman to the media.

The three, as well as seven others from WellMed, are facing estafa and falsification of documents complaints before the Department of Justice.

READ: NBI files estafa, falsification raps over fraudulent kidney treatments

NBI Deputy Director Vicente de Guzman III said that the next phase of the bureau's probe into the money-making scheme may expand to other PhilHealth officials.

“That is the next phase of the investigation of the NBI. We will go into that, plus, of course, we are not singling out WellMed,” he said.

NBI to check other hospitals, clinics 

The Bureau official also said that they would look into claims of other hospitals and clinics accredited by PhilHealth.

But the NBI refused to identify the persons and institutions they are looking into pending the investigation.

Bureau Deputy Director Ferdinand Lavin said the NBI and the PhilHealth are also be probing other entities claiming refunds or reimbursements.

He added: "We have PhilHealth officials themselves. We have whistleblowers especially those who want to give information and cooperate with ongoing investigations and even patients who may wish to cooperate with NBI to protect their own funds."

Health providers, PhilHealth officials warned

Health Secretary Francisco Duque III, for his part, warned health providers and PhilHealth officials: “Do not cheat the system nor even attempt to do it.”

Duque expressed disappointment at the controversies surrounding PhilHealth, a government corporation attached to the DOH for policy and guidance.

“For the system to be taken advantage of and used in corruption is utterly unacceptable. These nefarious activities must end and PhilHealth should further strengthen its zero tolerance policy on overpayments,” the Health secretary said.

He added he has already ordered his colleagues at the DOH to “ensure anti-corruption measures are in place for the implementation of the Universal Health Care.”

PhilHealth president Roy Ferrer and six other PhilHealth officials have already tendered their courtesy resignations, Duque said earlier.

READ: PhilHealth chief, 6 other execs tender resignation

— Kristine Joy Patag

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