“At least 13 hospitals nationwide has accepted the Philippine Health Insurance Corp (Philhealth) proposal to treat low to intermediate risk prostate cancer at a package rate of P100,000 for its members, officials said on Sunday.
Philheath President and Chief Executive Officer Eduardo Banzon said the agency has been holding talks with other hospitals to expand the package coverage of the disease, which usually afflicts elderly men.
“The P100,000 benefit payment covers the full cost of treatment, hospitalization and professional fees,” Banzon said.
Patients must be active Philhealth members to avail of the benefit. Philhealth will shoulder the entire cost of the health package.
According to the Department of Health, prostate cancer is the second most widespread cancer among Filipino men, next to lung cancer. The disease tends to develop among men over the age of 50.
In the House of Representatives, Zambales Rep. Milagros Magsaysay asked the Department of Budget and Management to release the P12.5 billion Philhealth annual budget so it can be spent for health services of the poor.
“They say that Philhealth is the answer to the medical problems of ordinary Filipinos. Yet, we hear Philhealth saying everyday that they don’t have enough money to help our fellow Filipinos who are in dire need of medical assistance,” Magsaysay said.
She said Philhealth claimed it has reserve fund of P100 billion and an annual budget of P12.5 billion, but complaints were mounting about the money not yet available.
“Why are they not using the money for universal health care? Shouldn’t they be using the money to help our fellow Filipinos, who are in dire need of medical assistance?” Magsaysay said.
Budget Secretary Florencio Abad has admitted the low absorption capacity of the Department of Health (DOH) and said he was worried about the slow utilization of funds by the health agencies. With Macon Araneta”