Duterte orders PhilHealth to expand Covid-19 coverage

PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte has ordered the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth) to include in its coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) coverage patients staying in accredited isolation centers and tents, the Palace said on Tuesday.

Duterte made the order after some senators urged PhilHealth to provide coverage for patients confined in tents amid a lack of hospital beds in Metro Manila due to a surge in Covid-19 infections.

Presidential spokesman Harry Roque Jr. said Duterte also directed PhilHealth to cover the cost of RT-PCR (reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction) tests.

“Nagbigay ng direktiba po ang ating Presidente sa PhilHealth na kasama sa health insurance coverage ang RT-PCR tests, isolation sa accredited community isolation units at hospitalization para sa mild at critical cases ng Covid-19 (The President directed the PhilHealth to include in its insurance coverage RT-PCR tests, isolation in accredited community isolation units and hospitalization for mild and critical cases),” Roque said.

“Kaugnay nito, kung ang tents ay kasama sa in patient care, kailangan covered ito sa kasalukuyang in-patient Covid-19 package (In line with this, if the patients’ stay in tents, is part of in-patient care then these should also be covered under the Covid-19 package),” he added.