State insurer Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth) today reminded the public that senior citizens and Filipinos most at risk to the virus can get swab-tested for the coronavirus free of charge.
According to the Department of Health’s (DOH) guidelines, these include “individuals aged 60 and above, pregnant, and those with underlying conditions or comorbidity.”
Baleña said that the said patients who qualify for the free RT-PCR test will simply need to visit any of the 105 DOH-accredited testing laboratories to avail of the benefit, which you can find listed here.
RT-PCR tests, which have been touted as the “gold standard” of COVID-19 testing, cost at least PHP4,000 (US$82) in the Philippines.
The embattled government insurer has been facing controversy in recent months due to allegations of a multi-million peso fraud and corruption scheme purportedly masterminded by the agency’s high-ranking officers. PhilHealth faced scrutiny anew when President Rodrigo Duterte replaced its supposedly ailing retired chief Ricardo Morales with Dante Gierran, a former director of the National Bureau of Investigation who said he knew nothing about public health.
Despite drawing flak for the remark, Gierran’s appointment was accepted by the board of directors on Sept. 11. The new PhilHealth chief vowed to clean up the scandal-riddled agency which reportedly faces looming bankruptcy.
This article, COVID swab tests for Pinoy seniors and at-risk patients are free, says PhilHealth, originally appeared on Coconuts, Asia's leading alternative media company.