DOF chief: PhilHealth info system in ‘shambles’ despite spending P200B

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Department of Finance (DOF) secretary Carlos Dominguez III on Thursday, Aug. 6, said officials of the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth) have been asked to put in order their questionable information system since October 2019.

DOF secretary Carlos Dominguez III

During the joint briefing of the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) and the inter-agency Development Budget and Coordination Committee (DBCC), Dominguez said DOF officials cannot make secure projections on PhilHealth’s fund life or the period wherein their funds can finance their expenses and liabilities as its information system is not capable of generating relevant data.

“Their information system is and I’ve used this term publicly, is in shambles. And we’ve pointed this out to them since October of last year,” he said.

Dominguez said PhilHealth officials claim the agency spent about P2.1 billion for their information system “when in fact, they spent close to P200 billion.” “And they have no way or their information system is not robust enough to capture all the data,” he said.

If the state agency that was tasked to implement universal health coverage for the country will have a good information system, the DOF would be able to make not just a one-year projection but a 10-year projection for PhilHealth’s fund life, Dominguez said.

“As of now, I will take their word that probably by 2021 or late 2021 or late 2022 they may run out of money and that is why, we have in our budget for this year. I believe it is around P70 billion or around P80 billion to subsidize PhilHealth,” he said.

Dominguez, however, said “in the long term, we have to fix up the administration of PhilHealth in order to be able to get a good handle of what exactly their liabilities and fund life are.”

PhilHealth officials said the agency’s funds are now short especially because of the expenses of members who got hospitalized due to the coronavirus disease pandemic. — Joann Villanueva (PNA)

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