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PIA Press Release
2007/09/27

PhilHealth declares unethical medical practice an offense

General Santos City (27 September) -- To finally curb the rampant abuses of some health care providers, the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth) today announced that abuses and unethical practices will soon be considered offenses that may lead to the providers' disaccreditation.

Atty. Valentin C. Guanio, Senior Vice President for Legal Services and Officer-in-charge of the Office of the Acting President and CEO said that PhilHealth is seriously considering abuses and unethical practices of doctors as among the qualified offenses that may warrant the non-renewal of their accreditation. "The integrity and competence of the health care professional are among the very important elements that patients consider before seeking treatment. But if these are compromised by a doctor's unethical practices, definitely, the patient's health will be at risk," he said.

Emphasizing that PhilHealth is primarily concerned with the members' welfare, Guanio added that it is currently investigating cases of rampant abuse of the medical profession being carried out by some doctors through so-called medical missions afterwhich they file their claims for reimbursements through the accredited hospitals in their area. "We are already following up on some leads to enable us to get to the root of the matter soonest." Without PhilHealth accreditation, these doctors can no longer file for reimbursements.

"We are also working closely with specialty societies to define the parameters of what may be considered 'unethical' and already beyond the bounds of moral and ethical practice," he stressed.

Guanio said that penalties for such offenses will similarly be increased and other policy changes will soon be introduced to further strengthen PhilHealth's campaign against abuse of medical authority.

He also clarified earlier figures on the PhilHealth reimbursement for cataract extractions, saying that PhilHealth pays an average of P18,373.00 for cataract extraction claims. He added that indeed, it is possible for a skilled ophthalmologist to perform more than a hundred cataract extractions in a month, but stressed that doctors performing multiple extractions in a day under unhealthy circumstances run the risk of infecting, rather than curing, the patients. (PhilHealth 12/PIA SarGen) [top]

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