Giving due consideration to the crucial needs of our members, PhilHealth Management stationed PhilHealth Customer Assistance, Relations and Empowerment Staff (CARES) in selected hospitals to address basic members’ inquiries relative to benefit availment. The CARES staff members are properly trained, possess comprehensive knowledge about PhilHealth policies and are always updated with newly introduced programs particularly on the benefits. With this noble endeavor, the CARES ensure that our members can avail themselves of their exact benefits outright through proper guidance and accurate information. In PhilHealth Regional Office-ARMM (PRO-ARMM), we set up post at Amai Pakpak Medical Center (APMC), the biggest hospital in the region situated in Marawi City, to attend to the needs of our members. We found it effective in addressing patients’ queries as manifested by a number of patients or their relatives queuing at the CARES post.
I happened to visit APMC and observed one client by the name of Sittie Aisah I. Baute in Marawi City asking our CARES on how her niece Princess Aliyah Baunte who was suffering from pneumonia, can avail herself of the No Balance Billing policy since her parents have no means for the hospitalization of her daughter. CARES staff member Sobaida M. Zapanta, RN explained that a PhilHealth member who is categorized as indigent, comes to a public hospital and opts for the NBB ward, can avail of said policy with no out-of-pocket expenses for the hospitalization. Baunte extended thanks and nodded with a smile as if pleased with the explanation.
At the NBB ward, I found 65-year-old Limban D. Datu, a resident of Daguduban, Marawi City, who was suffering from asthma. She was talking with one of our CARES staff members who was visiting the patients at the NBB ward. The patient’s companion asked our CARES if PhilHealth can provide post-confinement medicines and the CARES explained clearly that as of now, only medicines taken within the period of confinement are covered. However, we are optimistic that someday, PhilHealth’s Management can find a legal basis for that matter since it runs a progressive health insurance program looking at total care for its members. After a brief conversation, a PhilHealth brochure was handed to the patient’s companion for further information. (END) (Bamra D. Ampaso, Head, Public Affairs Unit)