Philippine Red Cross chairman and Senator Richard Gordon said Tuesday that PhilHealth is convincing the organization to lower its COVID-19 testing price and use the state insurer’s alleged overpriced test kits.
“Ipinipilit nila sa amin na tanggapin ‘yung mga binili nila na talagang ang dami-dami baka mag-expire. Sasabihin ko na, overpriced. Ipinipilit nila sa amin. I don’t want to be involved with anything that is overpriced baka pati kami maisama pa,” Gordon said in an interview on CNN, Philippines.
The senator said that PhilHealth was nagging the Red Cross regarding this offer about two to three months ago.
“Namili sila ng maraming test kits, and I can understand noon umpisa. They bought an awful lot of test kits. Di ko na sasabihin kung ano ang presyo, bahala na ang gobyerno doon… Pinipilit nila ‘yan. Two months ago pa ‘yan, 3 months ago. Ibaba raw namin [ang presyo], ibibigay daw sa amin,” he said.
Gordon, who is also the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee chair, said he would leave it to other government authorities to investigate the issue.
PhilHealth wants Red Cross to use ‘overpriced’ test kits – Gordon
Under its new COVID-19 test price package, PhilHealth will pay P3,409 if the testing laboratory bought and provided all services and test kits.
However, if the test kits are donated, PhilHealth will pay P2,077, down from P5,450.
Philhealth will pay P901 if the test kit is donated, instead of P2,710 in public hospitals since lab and testing costs are included in the budget.
The state insurer earlier explained the alleged “overpriced” P8,150 COVID-19 test kit package, saying the high demand brought the high cost during the first months of the virus outbreak.