Free COVID-19 Testing; Will be Shouldered by the PhilHealth

COVID-19 is displaying a rapid growth in the number of patients; the scary thing about this is that it’s just not in the Philippines. It’s widespread all over the globe.

Free COVID-19 Testing, Offered by the PhilHealth
This image was taken from CNN Philippines | CNNPhilippines.com

There are posts from credible news and media sources that talks about the testing kits for COVID-19 acquired by our government are just around 2,000 units.

Read: Curfew For Minors For Safety as Per the National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO)

Therefore, all people who want to be tested and those who want to make sure that they are negative of the virus would not be able to get one. Why? Because surely, hospitals and clinics would be the main guys who would get it.

Free COVID-19 Testing

One good news amidst the outbreak is that the Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (PhilHealth) will offer something for the Filipino people. According to them, they will cover the cost of COVID-19 tests for individuals looking cure of the said disease.

Karlo Nograles, Cabinet Secretary said that this free COVID-19 testing is inclusive of the state health insurance agency’s coverage for quarantine and isolation costs.

Read: Common Everyday Things That can Put You at Risk For the COVID-19 Infection

In addition to that, Nograles said that him, together with health agencies in the country, wants the people to focus more on improving their health rather than thinking about medical costs and expenses.

The last thing we want is for our citizens to worry about medical costs and expenses. Their only concern should be their well-being and the well-being of their families. The President recognizes that everyone in the country is concerned about COVID-19 or the corona virus disease 2019 and the threat this poses to the health and lives of our loved ones, especially vulnerable individuals like senior citizens.”

Nograles, who is a cabinet member, is also a member of the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Disease. This basically means that he has the capability and the knowledge in making sure that everything is on point.

The government to acquire more testing kits

Aside from the fact that the PhilHealth will cover free COVID-19 testing, a statement from the Palace mentioned that they are, too, doing their best to provide more testing kits for areas in the Philippines that have quite a high number of confirmed cases of COVID-19.

Read: The Coronavirus Has Mutated And It’s a Lot Scarier

Nograles said that they are on the move of fast-tracking the distribution of these kits so they can be used in the earliest and the soonest time.

“We are fast-tracking the deployment of these kits so these can be used at the soonest possible time. Per Dr. Destura of Manila Healthtek, the rapid diagnostic kit for COVID-19 is set for field validation study, and that UP PGH and the National Institute for Health have agreed to support the study.”

There were 500 testing kits that needs to be validated by the expert to be able to pass the standards of FDA (Food and Drug Administration).

Once it passes the clinical tests, FDA will grant full access by all hospitals, as guided by the DOH.” 

Read: The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) Urges Employers to Allow Extra Leaves For Their Employees Due to the COVID-19

As of Wednesday afternoon, there were 49 positive cases of covid-19 based on Philippine record. This is from a news strain of coronavirus that started in Wuhan City, China.

Packages offered by the PhilHealth for the COVID-19

There are two (2) packages offered by PhilHealth for the COVID-19 and as per them, they will cover it for their members and their members’ dependents who will show symptoms.

The two packages are the the isolation package and the referral package.

According to the Vice President of PhilHealth’s Corporate Affairs Group, Shirley Domingo, patients who were placed under observation for showing symptoms and therefore are suspected to have Coronavirus will be put under the isolation package where they are entitled P14, 000.

Read: The Civil Service Exams (CSE) Suspended Due to the COVID-19

On the other hand, those patients who were referred to hospitals that have quarantine procedures and control infectious disease will be put under the referral package and are entitled to P4, 000.

What about other patients showing signs and symptoms?

For patients who show moderate signs and symptoms of pneumonia because of the COVID-19 infection, they are entitled to P15, 000. Those with severe pneumonia, on the other hand are entitled to P32, 000.

Who are covered by these packages?

According to the PhilHealth, patients who would be covered by these packages are the people who have been admitted since the 31st of January 2020. Everyone admitted before that might undergo series of testing to determine the eligibility.

Read: Ready For 2019 Coronavirus (COVID-19), Private Hospitals Association of the Philippines Inc.

Good news! The recent policy of No Balance Billing (NBB) which is the act of declining help or aid for the poor and the elderly when they are confined in government facilities and hospitals will be applied to the free COVID-19 testing.

Nevertheless, the free COVID-19 testing is applicable and is observed; we should be happy about it. However, we still should not disregard precautionary actions and measures to prevent the disease rather than treating or curing it.

Source: ABS-CBN News

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