BJMP asks for PhilHealth coverage for Caraga inmates
Ben Serrano (The Philippine Star) - August 23, 2015 - 10:00am

BUTUAN CITY, Philippines – The Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP) in the Caraga region has asked the Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (PhilHealth) to enroll nearly 2,000 of its inmates, many of whom have serious health problems.

Orlando Montalban, media affairs chief for BJMP-Caraga, said jail personnel either contribute from their personal funds or seek financial help elsewhere whenever inmates are in need of medical care.

He added that a majority of those jailed either have no PhilHealth cards or do not know if they are covered by the memberships of their nearest relatives.

“Many inmates are facing serious and contagious health problems. Some are already abandoned. There is an immediate need to enlist them so they can enjoy the benefits and services of PhilHealth,” Montalban said during a recent forum on social health insurance in Butuan City. 

Johnny Sychua, PhilHealth regional vice president for Caraga, promised to send teams to various jails in the region to update the membership records. 

He said there are about 2.5 million PhilHealth members in Caraga serviced by 600 medical professionals, 17 hospitals, 33 infirmaries, 75 Tsekap Package providers, 70 maternity clinics, two ambulatory clinics, 69 DOTS centers, one free-standing dialysis center and 10 animal bite treatment clinics.

Sychua added that the country’s richer regions are subsidizing the operations of PhilHealth-Caraga as its income is lower than its expenses. He added that Caraga is considered “very poor.”

Ramon Aristoza, PhilHealth EVP and COO, clarified though that PhilHealth is not like a “private health insurer or a solution to all health care problems” as he pointed out that the health insurance covers only a percentage of fees or hospitalization costs.

ACIRC BUREAU OF JAIL MANAGEMENT AND PENOLOGY BUTUAN CITY CARAGA HEALTH JOHNNY SYCHUA ORLANDO MONTALBAN PHILALTH PHILHEALTH PHILIPPINE HEALTH INSURANCE CORP RAMON ARISTOZA
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