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President Duterte wants “ghost dialysis” scammers arrested

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte has ordered the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) to arrest the people behind the “ghost dialysis” treatment scam, which defrauded the Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (PhilHealth) large amount of money.

It was reported that Quezon City-based WellMed Dialysis & Laboratory Center Corp. (WellMed) continues to ask the PhilHealth for dialysis payments even when their patients have already died.

“I’m ordering you, the NBI. Kaya kayong mga NBI, makinig kayo dito… If you do not want to pray, just listen,” President Duterte said Saturday during an interview with Kingdom of Jesus Christ founder, Pastor Apollo Quiboloy, in his television program “Give Us This Day.”

“The NBI should take over by tomorrow and start to summon everybody. And if the owner of that wellness thing there where these fraudulent claims were discovered…arrest them. That is my order. Arrest them and investigate them right away,” he added.

The offense is non-bailable since it is syndicated estafa, the President said, noting malversation of money is a continuing crime.

President Duterte was dismayed by the scam because it involves public money.

The President said that, at this time, there is still no evidence or proof to charge any culprit and he is not in a position to say if there are people in government who are involved.

He vowed to first go after hospitals and dialysis centers that made fraudulent PhilHealth claims.

“That’s fraud. So sila ‘yung unahin ko. But I’m looking into any culpability of an employee of government joining or in cahoots or in conspiracy,” he said.

Despite the anomaly, however, the President said he does not doubt the integrity and honesty of PhilHealth acting chief Roy Ferrer.

The President appeared unimpressed with Philhealth’s claim that it would need 45 to 60 days to resolve 28 administrative complaints against WellMed. He wanted much faster inquiry.

To prevent future scams, the President hinted on reshuffling and reorganizing PhilHealth and introduce new accounting and managing system that will ensure checks and balances in the state health insurance agency.

“For the sheer amount that was lost, I have to reorganize your entity, change maybe all of you and install a more… systems of accounting and accountability. Bakit umabot nang ganun kalaki without the necessary checks along the way?,” he said stressing PhilHealth needs good business people as managers.