ILOILO CITY—The Western Visayas office of Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (PhilHealth-6) denied it owes P521 million to nine hospitals in this city.

In a statement released to local media, PhilHealth 6 clarified that its unpaid bills to hospitals in Iloilo City was only P73.7 million, and not P521 million, as earlier claimed by Mayor Jerry Treñas.

PhilHealth 6 further stated it has paid more than P1 billion to hospitals in the city  just from January to August 27.

The state-run health agency clarified that it has denied a total of P149.2 million in claims of Iloilo City hospitals due to technicalities, including lack of patients’ signature, exhaustion of benefits or patients cared for by non-accredited health care provider.

However, the regional Department of Health (DOH 6) has separately said that the alleged unpaid bills of PhilHealth 6 was a contributing factor in the response mechanism of hospitals in handling coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases.

DOH 6 Regional Director Dr. Marlyn Convocar did admit that several private hospitals, both in the cities of Iloilo and Bacolod, had to downscale their operations in handling COVID-19 cases.

But Convocar clarified that the issue with PhilHealth 6 was not the only factor. Both private and public hospitals have recurring moratorium of accepting new patients or temporarily shutting down certain departments every time their own health workers and staff were infected with COVID-19. 

Source: Manila Bulletin (