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Urdaneta mayor offended by PhilHealth scam allegations

Jul 31, 2015 @ 1:27

Urdaneta City Mayor Amadeo Gregorio Perez IV has cried foul over the Senate testimony of a health official accusing local officials of involvement in the PhilHealth eye care scam.

Although he was not specifically named in the July 8 Senate hearing, Perez said the allegations made by Dr. Minguita Padilla, chair of the Eye Bank Foundation of the Phils., “puts all of us local government officials under a cloud of doubt.”

Padilla testified that local government officials usually send “sponsored patients enrolled with government funds” to private hospitals which she claims earn millions of pesos and pay kickbacks to local officials.

The Urdaneta mayor said Padilla seemed to confuse “referrals” with “recruitment”.

“Dr. Padilla ought to know that mayors and other local officials make hundreds of referrals every week in response to the needs of our constituents,” Perez pointed out in a story published by Inquirer.

PhilHealth officials have revealed the “very conspicuous rise” in claims by eye doctors in recent years that they said have slowly drained the agency’s coffers.

Perez described as “unrealistic” the suggestion of Padilla to refer patients instead to government hospitals which can benefit from income from cataract surgeries.

“Even if we want to refer our constituents to government hospitals, the truth is not all our government hospitals can handle cataract surgeries, and so we have no choice but to refer our patients to private facilities,” Perez stressed.

“And for this Dr. Padilla is accusing us of taking kickbacks,” the mayor said. “With her line of thinking, it is no wonder that our government health system is in shambles.”

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