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NBI releases owner of clinic tagged in dialysis scam

by Maris Federez   |   Posted on Monday, June 17th, 2019

Dr. Bryan Sy, co-owner of WellMed Dialysis Center

The National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) on Sunday (June 16) released the co-owner of a dialysis center in Quezon City after being in detention for 6 days in connection with alleged fraudulent claims, his lawyer, Rowell Ilagan, said.

Dr. Bryan Sy, co-owner of WellMed Dialysis Center, was arrested on Monday (10) for allegedly ordering former employees to make claims for dialysis treatment from state-run Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (PhilHealth) on behalf of patients who had already died.

A Manila court on Saturday (June 15) ordered Sy’s release after his camp posted a P72,000 bail.

He was not, however, released immediately due to the absence of signatories from the NBI, said his lawyer.

Ilagan said Sy had to wait one more day and walked free from detention around 10:30 a.m. on Sunday.

The Department of Justice indicted Sy on June 14, along with former employees Edwin Roberto and Leizel Aileen de Leon, for estafa through falsification of official documents.

Roberto and De Leon jointly bared the alleged WellMed racket, revealing that it made P800,000 in ghost PhilHealth claims from 2016 to 2018.

WellMed lawyer, however, denied the ‘ghost claims’ with PhilHealth.

They wrote DOJ Secretary Menardo Guevarra and NBI Director Dante Gierran on Thursday to demand Sy’s release because his detention had exceeded 36 hours.

Under Article 125 of the Revised Penal Code, authorities have a maximum of 36 hours to detain a suspect without filing any charge in court. /mbmf

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PhilHealth to shoulder hospital expenses of victims of food poisoning

by Aileen Cerrudo   |   Posted on Thursday, July 4th, 2019

The Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth) assured to shoulder the hospital expenses of the victims of food poisoning at the birthday celebration of former first lady Imelda Marcos.

PhilHealth President and CEO Ricardo Morales said all victims who are PhilHealth members and are confined in private and public hospitals can avail their benefits.

“PhilHealth pays up to P6,000 for food poisoning or acute gastroenteritis with moderate to severe dehydration when confined in any PhilHealth accredited hospital,” he said.

Meanwhile, non-members can avail the Point of Service (POS) Program in government hospitals.

“We want to assure those affected that in case hospitalization is required, they can bank on their PhilHealth coverage for financial protection,” Morales adds.—AAC (with reports from Aiko Miguel)

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Whistleblowers in ‘ghost dialysis’ scam now under WPP – DOJ

by Robie de Guzman   |   Posted on Wednesday, June 26th, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – The two whistleblowers in the ‘ghost dialysis’ scam have been admitted into the witness protection program (WPP)of the Department of Justice (DOJ), Secretary Menardo Guevarra confirmed.

Guevarra said the WPP coverage will only be provisional pending investigation on the complaint filed by the National Bureau of Investigation against seven officials and employees of WellMed Dialysis Center.

This is in relation to the anomalous Philhealth claims allegedly made by the WellMed Dialysis Center for already deceased patients.

“Yes, they were provisionally admitted into the WPP, good for 90 days,” he said in a message sent to reporters.

“That’s pending preliminary investigation by the DOJ of the seven other respondents,” he added.

Those who were provisionally granted WPP coverage were Edwin Roberto and Liezel Santos.

But the two have filed a motion before the Quezon City Regional Trial Court Branch 219 requesting that they remain under the custody of the NBI.

Legal Counsel Harry Roque argued that his clients’ custody should not be transferred to the city jail until their formal commitment to the WPP.

“So kahapon nabulabog kami kasi nga gusto nilang ilipat  sa City Jail iyong mga whistleblowers. Sabi namin. Hindi ata makatarungan iyan,” Roque told reporters after filing the motion on Wednesday.

“Kung hindi dahil sa kanilang dalawa, hindi natin malalaman kung gaano katindi ang kurapsyon diyan,” he added. (with details from Mai Bermudez)

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Lacson sees conflict of interest on presence of Sec Duque in Philhealth Board

by Maris Federez   |   Posted on Wednesday, June 19th, 2019

Senator Panfilo Lacson (L) and Health Secretary Francisco Duque III (R)

Senator Panfilo Lacson reveals having possession of several documents that will prove of the seeming conflict of interest with Health Secretary Francisco Duque III sitting in as head of the Philhealth Board.

Lacson made the revelation amid the corruption issues haunting the government health insurance body.

He said, based on the copy of a contract of lease in his possession, the regional office that Philhealth is renting in Dagupan City is owned by Duque’s family.

“If this is not conflict of interest, I don’t know what is. Building mo, naka-contract of lease ka and that is a family corporation,” Lacson said.

He added that he also found out some more modus operandi happening inside Philhealth.

“There’s another modus operandi kung saan yung hospital mismo in cahoots with PhilHealth. Nagbibigay ng report extending confinement of patients na nadischarge na,” he added.

The senator said he is worried of what could possibly happen to the billions of pesos that is allotted as a fund for the Universal Health Care program with Duque at the helm of Philhealth.

Lacson said he will call for an investigation regarding the said issue once the 18th Congress officially opens in July. (with reports from Nel Maribojoc) /mbmf

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