“Libre na!” Philhealth to shoulder the cost of COVID-19 testing

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The Filipinos don’t need to worry anymore about the testing cost for the COVID-19 as the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth) will now shoulder its expenses.

Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles said in a statement that the Philhealth’s decision is part of President Rodrigo Duterte’s action against the COVID-19.

The free testing of COVID-19 could encourage more Filipinos to have a test.

“The President recognizes that everyone in the country is concerned about COVID-19 and the threat this poses to the health and lives of our loved ones, especially vulnerable individuals like senior citizens,” he said Wednesday.

“Given this, the last thing we want is for our citizens to worry about medical costs and expenses. Their only concern should be their well-being and the well-being of their families,” he added.

Nograles said that they’re also rushing to produce more testing kits to identify more cases of COVID-19 as soon as possible.

Yesterday, the FDA approved the testing kits developed by local scientists which were funded by the Department of Science and Technology (DOST).

“We are fast-tracking the deployment of these kits so these can be used at the soonest possible time. Per Dr. Destura of Manila Healthtek, the rapid diagnostic test kit for COVID-19 is set for field validation study, and that UP PGH and the National Institute for Health have agreed to support the study,” Nograles said.

The cost of UP-made testing kits only costs less than P1,500 unlike the imported which costs around P8,000 to P30,000.

As of writing, there are already 33 positive cases of COVID-19 in the Philippines.

President Rodrigo Duterte on Sunday declared a state of public health emergency throughout the Philippines.

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