By Paulo Loreto Lim
A congressional hearing of the House Committee on Good Government and Public Accountability earlier this week revealed some hospital physicians allegedly collected excessive amounts in Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth) claims for unnecessary procedures, with the Our Lady of Mercy Hospital in Bacolod City named as one of the involved hospitals.
According to a PTV report, doctors at the said hospital allegedly recommended patients undergo cataract surgery even if it was not necessary.
The hospital is home to the Mason Eye Institute, where physicians from the Negros Eye Specialists, headed by Dr. Miguel Sarabia, last year accepted a donation of P5.8 million worth of ophthalmology supplies and a Lumera Microscope, a surgical microscope for cataract and retina surgeries, from LDS Charities.
According to testimony from Dr. Minguita Padilla, who previously worked for former Department of Health (DOH) Secretary Janette Garin, between 2015 and 2016, ten eye centers received P2 billion worth of claims from PhilHealth.
During that period, the director of PhilHealth was current Senator Risa Hontiveros, who was appointed by then-President Benigno S. Aquino III in June 2015./WDJ