January 11, 2022
MANILA — The national government is asking the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth) to include RT -PCR testing in its COVID-19 coverage for individuals isolating at home.
“We are pushing PhilHealth to increase the packages for home isolation, for home treatment, so for those who are treating themselves at home can also be covered by PhilHealth and the package should also include the RT PCR,” Cabinet Secretary and acting presidential spokesperson Karlo Nograles said in an interview on ABS CBN News Channel
He is responding to a query on why RT PCR tests are not offered for free in the Philippines.
Nograles said RT PCR tests are covered by PhilHealth when the patient is symptomatic.
Suspected COVID-infected individuals with symptoms, however, are still expected to go to PhilHealth-accredited laboratories since only a number of laboratories are offering home service testing.
This is why the government is pushing to include home RT PCR testing in PhilHealth packages, Nograles said.
Former senator Francis Escudero earlier called on the Department of Health to make RT PCR testing free.
Then DOH should make RT-PCR testing ACCESSIBLE, READILY AVAILABLE AND FREE! After nearly two years and ₱6,000,000,000,000 in borrowings, why is it that we still cannot seem to do this?!?! https://t.co/qu41BnMkjQ
— Chiz Escudero (@SayChiz) January 7, 2022
Amid the alarming spike of COVID-19 cases in the country, a lawmaker pointed out that there were no funds allotted for free mass testing in the P5.024 trillion 2022 national budget.