Patients will no longer be able to avail of unlimited dialysis treatment through Philhealth after September 15, once the six-month declaration of state of calamity over the country is lifted amid the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.
According to Maki Pulido’s report on “24 Oras,” a Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth) circular stated that while under a state of calamity, the limit of 90 dialysis sessions will not be in effect.
This means that even if patients have used up their free dialysis during the period, PhilHealth is obligated to pay for the additional sessions.
“Kung ma-exhaust na nila ‘yung kanilang cap, ‘yung 45 o 90 days. Hangga’t tayo po ay nasa pandemya, kung sila ay mangangailangan ng dialysis, sila ay makaka-avail pa rin ng benefit,” PhilHealth spokesperson Rey Baleña said.
On March 17, President Rodrigo Duterte, placed the entire Philippines under a state of calamity to allow the government to tap more funds to contain the spread of COVID-19.
The dialysis sessions taken while the country is under a state of calamity will also not be counted for next year.
PhilHealth said that patients who paid for their sessions during the state of calamity may get reimbursement from PhilHealth offices as long as they have receipts.
“Baka hindi lang aware ‘yung dialysis center kasi alam talaga nila na up to 90 days. Pero kapag may ganito tayong situations na under fortuitous event, may special privilege tayong in-extend sa mga miyembro,” Baleña said.
As the free dialysis sessions will only last until September 15, patients and their families have appealed for it to continue after the state of calamity has been lifted.
“Wala kaming pambayad, ‘yun ang problema kawawa ‘yung bata. Dapat ituloy-tuloy na ‘yun,” Larry Jabeta, father of dialysis patient said.—Joahna Lei Casilao/LDF, GMA News