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PIA Press Release

PhilHealth announces new benefits for members

by Lito Dar

Baguio City (14 February) -- In observance of the National Health Insurance Month and in celebration of the 14th anniversary of Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth) this February 14, PhilHealth launches new benefits for its member.

This was announced by PhilHealth President and CEO Dr Rey B. Aquino, during a press conference held at Hotel Elizabeth last Monday, January 9. Among the new benefits, Dr Aquino announced, include benefits for voluntary surgical contraception procedures, payment of fourth normal spontaneous deliveries, benefits for the outpatient treatment of Malaria and HIV/AIDS.

PhilHealth is also introducing additional payments for field professionals or their partner physicians practicing in areas experiencing a shortage of health professionals, to ensure the highest quality of services that their members deserve, Dr Aquino added.

He also assured that PhilHealth is healthy in terms of its finances and strong as a corporation, as it now has P80 billion in assets and has paid almost P17 Billion of health insurance benefits for its beneficiaries from January to November 2008.

PhilHealth currently covers about 75% of the population and it is their goal to achieve universal coverage or to cover 85% of the population by their 15th anniversary next year. PhilHealth's coverage includes the employed sector - both from the government and private sector, voluntary members and overseas contract workers.

PhilHealth also has a sponsored program for indigent people. In relation to this, Dr Aquino announced that the national government, allocated P5B from the President's executive fund for this program, though he also clarified that LGUs and private companies also need to share expenses for the adoption of indigent families, under the said PhilHealth program.

Meanwhile, Dr Aquino confirmed that Philhealth allocated P7 Billion, in support to the President's initiative on economic stimulus package for the present global economic crunch. He explained that this fund will go exclusively to PhilHealth members in terms of additional benefits, not in infrastructures, loan packages or any other program.

In the same presscon, PhilHealth Sr VP on Operations Ernesto Beltran said they encourage the accreditation of as many hospitals as possible to ensure the quality of health service for their members. According to Beltran, there are now 1,502 accredited hospitals, 1,228 Rural Health Units, 24 dialysis centers, 331 maternity clinics and about 21,000 doctors or health professionals. (PIA) [top]

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