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PhilHealth explains P8,150 package for COVID-19 test kits

State insurer Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (PhilHealth) on Thursday explained the P8,150 package for testing on the coronavirus disease, saying that the higher price was due to high demand during the initial onslaught of the pandemic in the country.

According to PhilHealth president and chief executive officer Ricardo Morales, the P8,150 price was only for tests that were acquired in March when there was limited supply.

"Ito naman kasing P8,000, kung binili ng hospital. Alam mo naman nung panahon na 'yun, RITM lang ang nagte-test at 'yung capacity, iilan lang, kaya siyempre law of supply and demand," he said in an interview on Dobol B sa News TV.

"Ang lakas ng demand, kakaunti ang mahanap na test kits, so kaya mataas noon," he added.

PhilHealth was recently questioned by senators on why test kits were priced at a high of P8,150, while other tests were priced at P2,700.

According to Morales, the drop in prices to a low of P2,700 came after the private sector stepped in and increased the available test kits in the country.

"Ngayon 'pag pasok ng Red Cross eh NGO ang Red Cross, siguro may nakukuha sila preferential rate, meron silang quantity rate, nakakuha sila ng P3,500," he explained.

Moving forward, Morales said PhilHealth will be coming up with an updated case rate for COVID-19 test kits by next week.

"Tinitignan namin 'yung mga Statement of Account ng mga hospital kung magkano ang ginastos, so nare-refine natin ang ating pricing. Next week maglalabas kami ulit ng bagong case rate para sa testing at ito ay mas mababa," he said.—AOL, GMA News