Chong Hua, PhilHealth officials charged for 'fake' Covid patient

·2 min read

THE National Bureau of Investigation (NBI)-Central Visayas filed graft charges against officials from the Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (PhilHealth) and three officials from Chong Hua Hospital involved in approving an allegedly fraudulent claim for a non-frontliner patient.

CHARGES

NBI Regional Director Renan Oliva said PhilHealth officials were charged with violations:

  • Republic Act (RA) 3019, or the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices

  • Malversation of public funds through falsification of public documents

  • Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees

  • Gross and grave misconduct.

Three Chong Hua Hospital Officials were charged with violations:

  • Republic Act (RA) 3019, or the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices

  • Malversation of public funds through falsification of public documents

THE CASE

The case involved patient Kim Solamo, who was made to appear as a frontliner positive for coronavirus and claimed a full benefit from PhilHealth.

“But the person was not a frontliner and was not Covid-positive. We verified this through certifications from the Social Security System, Bureau of Internal Revenue, and the local government unit of Carmen, Cebu where the person resided. Even his barangay certified that he was not a frontliner. In fact, he was jobless for many years,” said Oliva.

Executive officer and supervising agent Arnel Pura said that Solamo was confined at Chong Hua Hospital on March 30, 2020 after he complained of shortness of breath.

For years, he was suffering liver and kidney ailments and had been undergoing medical treatments to improve his condition but his situation gradually deteriorated.

Solamo's case showed apparent signs of fraud and irregularity when the Philhealth Circulars upon such claims showed a clear absence of the mandatory requirements, Pura said.

PHILHEALTH INVESTIGATION

Oliva said the Philhealth controversy involving irregularities in the claim of Covid-19 funds is a continuing investigation.

The agency has forward its investigation to the Department of Justice (DOJ).

The DOJ has been tasked by President Rodrigo Duterte to investigate the PhilHealth benefit claims for Covid-19 cases in the country.

Last year, NBI-Central Visayas also filed graft charges against eight officials of PhilHealth and four officers of Perpetual Succour Hospital for approving an allegedly fraudulent claim for a non-Covid-19 patient. (SunStar Cebu/With JOB)