A SENATE investigation on the “ghost dialysis” claims involving the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth), among other concerns, has been formally sought in a resolution filed by Senator Juan Edgardo M. Angara.

Mr. Angara, who co-authored the Universal Health Care (UHC) Act contained in Republic Act No. 11223, made the proposal to ensure funding for the new law will be used for its intended purpose.

“We want to get to the bottom of all these reported scams, identify the personalities behind them, and come up with policies to prevent similar cases from taking place in the future,” Mr. Angara said in a statement on Wednesday.

Managot ang dapat managot. Hindi natin hahayaan ang patuloy na pagwawaldas ng pera habang ang dami natin mga kababayan na namamatay dahil sa walang pera para magpagamot (Those responsible should be made liable. We will not allow the continued squandering of money while so many of our countrymen are dying due to lack of money for medical services),” he added.

Mr. Angara sponsored the passage of the tobacco excise tax increase before the 17th Congress adjourned, to ensure that the funding gap for the implementation of the UHC Law is plugged.

Senator Richard J. Gordon, who is expected to remain the blue ribbon committee chair, last week said he is already conducting a preliminary investigation on PhilHealth, including an alleged “mafia” within the agency.

The issue stemmed from private service provider WellMed Dialysis & Laboratory Center Corp.’s alleged fraudulent medical claims from PhilHealth for deceased patients as well as patients who did not receive their full weekly treatments.

This surfaced after former WellMed employee Edwin Roberto revealed that the company was able to exploit the claims because PhilHealth is simply reliant on the service provider’s reports.

The Department of Justice already indicted Mr. Roberto, fellow whistle-blower Liezel Aileen Santos-De Leon as well as WellMed owner and Vice-President Bryan Christopher W. Sy. — Charmaine A. Tadalan