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Palace: Duterte unlikely to fire PhilHealth officials over ‘ghost’ dialysis

PHILHEALTH SEALMalacañang said yesterday that it is unlikely that President Duterte will fire any board member of the Philippine Health Insurance Corp. over “ghost” dialysis treatments after the Chief Executive expressed his full trust and confidence on them over the weekend.

Presidential spokesman Salvador Panelo confirmed that Duterte will meet PhilHealth officials Monday afternoon but doubts that he will fire them.

“Hindi natin alam ang mangyayari, nasa Presidente lahat ‘yan. But given that he’s publicly acknowledged his trust in the PhilHealth president, I don’t think there will be sacking,” he said.

“Kung magkakasabay sila na na-appoint, siguro, magkakasama silang…may tiwala ang Presidente, unless one or two or some of them have been involved,” he added.

In an interview in Davao City Saturday, Duterte defended acting PhilHealth president Roy Ferrer, saying he does not think that Ferrer has any role in the fraud.

Panelo acknowledged the efforts of PhilHealth to clean up the State health insurance agency, saying they may report the developments during their meeting with Duterte in Malacañang.

“The PhilHealth board has been conducting an investigation and has, in fact, filed several administrative complaints. They’re the ones cleaning PhilHealth,” he said.

“Siguro magrereport sila, ‘di ba since President Duterte instructed them to make a comprehensive report on what is happening in PhilHealth,” he added.

Meanwhile, Panelo rejected the suggestion of lawyer and former presidential spokesman Harry Roque to suspend the implementation of the Universal Health Care program amid the controversies in PhilHealth.

“Hindi magandang idea kasi common sense will tell you that you if stop an operation of a public service outfit then you affect the entire service,” Panelo said.

“If the problem is irregularity, you solve the irregularity. You don’t stop the operation. You don’t burn the house because there’s so many rats there,” he added. (Argyll Cyrus B. Geducos)