Come one, come all! Zamboanga hospital gets P92M from Philhealth by recruiting patients
By Nancy Carvajal
A hospital in Zamboanga City received P92 million from PhilHealth as reimbursements for patients treated in medical missions and charity events,’’the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI)) has revealed.
Based on the NBI- Zamboanga report Eastern Sun Medical Diagnostic Center (ESMDC) received a total of P92 million from 2013 to 2018 from PhilHealth by manipulating the medical records of patients.
“The fraudulent scheme of ESMDC was to recruit massive number of people under the guise of medical mission within the barangay Siocon as their patients regardless if the person is suffering from ailment or not,’’ NBI report said.
On September 2019 NBI filed a case of syndicated estafa against the owners and officials of) before the City Prosecutor’s Office, but as of this writing a resolution on the case have yet to be issued by the fiscal’s office, according to NBI agent on case Jonimar Tongdo.
`Recruiting massive number of people as their patients in the guise of medical mission thereafter assessed them with different diagnosis purposely to avail higher Philhealth benfits,’’ the NBI report submitted to the City Prosecutor’s Office said.
Recommended for prosecution were Ceasar c.Soriano, Dr Fidel Pondevida Jr., Tasnemah A. Pangandaman, Dr Kristine Prayon, Dr. Rukmini A. Alip and Dr. Cynthia Soriano Superable.
Tongdo of NBI –Zamboanga City told Politiko that the operation of ESMDC has expanded in nine neighboring towns of Zamboanga City luring the residents of free checkup and transportation.
“The modus targets 4P’s members and all those who are PHIC cardholder thereafter conduct preliminary medical check-ups, diagnose their patient with pneumonia and typhoid fever, so they will be convinced to be confined at the clinic facilities for at least 24 hours,’’ NBI report said.
Tongdo also said that ESMDC ferried between 30 and 60 people at least three times a week from various towns in Zamboanga as their patients promised with free medical expenses and transportation.
“Through false pretenses, ESMDC then charges Philhealth medical laboratory and professional fees,’’ the report said.
ESMDC had been ordered closed by the Siocon local government in 2018 due to “rampant and glaring modus,’’ but no criminal charges has been filed by the LGU against officials and owners of the hospital,” Tongdo said.
He also said, that despite the closure of the hospital “ the crime committed was not negated and the case against them continues.”