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Owners of dialysis center arrested in Philippines in ‘ghost’ kidney treatments scandal

Officials of Philippine Health Insurance Corp. — a government corporation — told a press conference Thursday it filed administrative cases against WellMed Dialysis and Laboratory Center in Novaliches, Quezon City last November for misrepresentation and falsification. (PhilStar) Sketched by the Pan Pacific Agency.

Pan Pacific Agency | COMMUICATION AGENCY FOR PACIFICA REGIONS

MANILA, Jun 8, 2019, PhilStar. President Rodrigo Duterte on Saturday ordered the National Bureau of Investigation to arrest and probe the owners of a dialysis facility in Quezon City that allegedly made bogus benefit claims for non-existent kidney treatments. Officials of Philippine Health Insurance Corp. — a government corporation — said in a press conference Thursday that it filed administrative cases against WellMed Dialysis and Laboratory Center in Novaliches, Quezon City last November for misrepresentation and falsification, reported the Philippine Star.

Citing a former employee of WellMed, the Philippine Daily Inquirer reported this week that PhilHealth continued paying for the dialysis treatments of a patient who had died in 2016 after the dialysis center continued filing claims for the “ghost” sessions.

In an interview with Sonshine Media Network, Duterte said he wanted the owners of WellMed arrested and investigated for making “fraudulent claims.”

The president also hinted at reshuffling officials at Philhealth amid the controversy.

“I am ordering you the NBI… the NBI should take over by tomorrow and start to summon everybody and the owner of that Wellness thing there where these fraudulent claims were discovered. Arrest them. That is my order. Arrest them. Place there sa blotter ninyo,” Duterte said.

“Arrest them and investigate them right away. No ifs, no buts… If a lawyer attempts to interfere, tell him it’s my order,” he added.

PhilHealth said there is a move to withdraw the accreditation of the center. It added that payment for all claims filed by the dialysis facility had been suspended as early as February.

Ian Nicolas Cigaral

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