A SENATOR has urged the Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (PhilHealth) to fast-track the fulfillment of its financial obligations and benefits payments to private hospitals, reiterating the need to reduce its backlog of delayed payments.

“That is why the private hospitals are so angry with you (PhilHealth) because the payment to them is delayed. How do you resolve it?” Senator Pia Juliana S. Cayetano said during a hearing on the Department of Health (DoH) and its attached agencies.

“The government has no intention of making everything with the public sector, we want the private (sector) to be our partner in good standing,” she added.

In response, PhilHealth Chief Executive Officer Emmanuel Rufino R. Ledesma, Jr. said that his agency has paid about 70% of its P27-billion backlog in unpaid benefits payments to hospitals as of this month. He said that PhilHealth is on track to completing its backlog in payments before the end of the year.

Senator Joseph Victor G. Ejercito said PhilHealth should increase its efforts to reach out to overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) who may not be informed about their insurance packages.

“We should also send (PhilHealth) representatives to explain the packages to the OFWs, especially because of the increases,” he said. — John Victor D. Ordoñez