Philippine College of Physicians backs Adventist Hospital cebu

THE Philippine College of Physicians (PCP) has expressed its support for the Adventist Hospital-Cebu after the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) filed allegations of irregularities in Covid-19 claims against the hospital.

In its support statement, the PCP said misconstruing doctors in committing fraud is disheartening and demoralizing, considering the emotional, physical and mental stress in managing patients during the pandemic.

“We believe that there is a proper venue to discuss misunderstandings without subjecting anyone to public judgment,” PCP Central Visayas chapter said in its statement.

On July 1, 2021, NBI 7 Regional Director Rennan Augustus Oliva announced in a press conference that various criminal and administrative charges will be filed against eight officials and employees of the Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (PhilHealth) and six officers and personnel of Adventist Hospital Cebu before the Office of the Ombudsman on allegations of corruption and irregularities in Covid-19 claims.

Despite these allegations, the PCP said it still trusts that truth will always prevail and justice will be served.

Thus, it has called on its colleagues to remain strong and steadfast to support one another.

“Let us keep on abiding by the Hippocratic Oath ‘to come for the benefit of the sick, remaining free of all intentional injustice,” it said.

Earlier, Oliva said its basis in filing cases was the findings of their investigation involving a deceased patient who tested negative for Covid-19 based on his RT-PCR test, but the hospital allegedly still made a P333,519 Covid-19 claim.

Adventist Hospital Cebu earlier said it has not received a copy of the formal complaint and was not provided an opportunity for its staff and physician to refute the accusations against them.

On June 29, the NBI 7 filed charges before the Office of the Ombudsman Visayas against the hospital officers and employees facing various charges, namely, Dr. Michelle Jay Francisco-Napigkit, attending physician; Cefriano Julian Jr., chief of the patient business department; Ma. Kenneth La Sage, clerk, PhilHealth section; Dicchel Grace Napigkit, billing clerk; Red Ford Gargarila, billing clerk; and Romeo Rando Jr., a registered nurse.

Criminal charges with alleged violation of Section 3 of Republic Act (RA) 3019, or the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act and alleged malversation of public funds or property penalized under Article 217 of the Revised Penal Code will be charged against the PhilHealth 7 officials: Arlan Granali, the former acting regional vice president; Francis Javier, division chief-HCDMD; Joan Tiu-Ayuson, medical specialist IV/section head of the Benefits Administration Section (BAS); Josette Bacalso, fiscal controller IV; Anecito Ramas Jr., social insurance officer 1; Anthonneette Maamo, BAS clerk III; Nina Christine Lunday, BAS social insurance officer 1; and Kenneth Donalyo.

Granali, Javier, Tiu-Ayuson, Bacalso, Ramas Jr., Maamo, Lunday and Donalyo will also face administrative charges violating the Revised Administrative Code of 1987 and violating RA 6713, or the Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards of Public Officials and Employees, while additional charges were filed against Francisco-Napigkit of the Adventist Hospital for allegedly issuing false medical certificates. (KFD)