Angara wants Senate probe into Philhealth scam

MANILA, Philippines – Senator Juan Edgardo Angara on Wednesday, July 3, filed a Senate resolution seeking an inquiry into the dialysis treatment controversy at the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (Philhealth).

Angara, one of the authors of the Universal Health Care Law, filed Senate Resolution No.  3 directing the appropriate Senate committee to investigate the recent fraudulent medical claims at Philhealth.

The senator said on Wednesday that the probe would help craft policies to "prevent such fraud" and "conduct a review of the fund utilization" of the government corporation.

"Managot ang dapat managot (Those accountable should be held accountable)," Angara said.

Former employees of WellMed Dialysis and Laboratory Corporation exposed the scam that involved PhilHealth officials who allegedly approved and released payments to WellMed for dialysis treatments of “ghost patients” or dead patients.

The Department of Justice had indicted WellMed owner Dr Brian Sy and whistleblowers Liezel Aileen de Leon and Edwin Roberto, for 17 counts of estafa through falsification of official documents. De Leon and Roberto were placed under the government's witness protection program for 90 days.

Sy had denied involvement in the alleged scam.

Opposition Senator Risa Hontiveros had earlier called for a probe into the PhilHealth payments, saying the alleged scam robbed real patients who would have benefited from the treatments. –

Aika Rey

Aika Rey covers the Philippine Senate for Rappler. Before writing about politicians, she covered budget, labor, and transportation issues.