The Department of Health should look into the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation's (PhilHealth) pricing of the COVID-19 testing package, Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon said on Tuesday.
During the Senate Committee of the Whole hearing, Drilon said private organizations like the Philippine Red Cross have made the test viable at a lower cost.
"PhilHealth fixes the package for facilities testing at P8,150. [At] Red Cross, you can have yourself self tested in Red Cross 50% lower or about P4,000," he said.
"I think this is a little overpriced and it causes unnecessary depletion of the resources of PhilHealth... Why is the PhilHealth package costing P8,150?"
Health Secretary Francisco Duque, also present during the virtual hearing, explained that the price ranges from more than P2,000 to P8,000 per test, depending if the test kits used were donated or not.
According to President Rodrigo Duterte's report to Congress in April, the proposed rates offered by the state health insurer indicated are as follows:
- P8,150 (all components covered by the package)
- P5,450 (if the kits are donated)
- P2,170 (PRC testing unbundled)
Drilon said he hopes the rates could be reviewed by the Department of Health.
"We will have it reviewed immediately," Duque said in response, adding that the DOH will submit a report to the Senate. — BM, GMA News