Janet Lim-Napoles, the central figure in the pork barrel scandal, is seeking help from the Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (PhilHealth) in paying her hospital bill.
Napoles’ lawyer Bruce Rivera on Friday said his client has ordered him to check with PhilHealth if she is eligible for benefits.
“Mrs. Napoles wanted to check with PhilHealth so that her hospital bills could be lowered,” he said.
After more than a month of confinement and surgery at the government-run Ospital ng Makati (OsMak), Napoles’ bill has reached P97,000.
If Philhealth approves her application as a member, she can get P30,000 deduction for her hysterectomy.
Rivera said that before Napoles’ confinement, her family had to solicit funds from relatives and friends.
Rivera wondered how Napoles can pay the hospital bill when her assets have been frozen by the court.
“They have to raise some more money because the hospital bill is over and above the expenses in her medicines,” he said.
OsMak said Napoles has not officially manifested that she cannot pay her hospital bills.
“As a matter of policy, the Ospital Ng Makati does not detain patients who cannot settle their bills,” the hospital said in a statement.
It added that patients who are unable to settle can execute a promissory note in accordance with the Anti-Detention of Patient Act (Republic Act 9439).
Makati Regional Trial Court Branch 150 Judge Elmo Alameda, who handles Napoles’ serious illegal detention case, allowed her to undergo a operation provided that she will
shoulder all the expenses and submit a regular progress reports on her condition.
Rivera said OsMak cannot issue a discharge order for Napoles until the court rules on her motion to let her extend her stay at the hospital.