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EDITORIAL: Flawed system breeds corruption

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Too much trust is dangerous, they say. And the recent controversy of the alleged ghost PhilHealth claims of Tuguegarao City People’s General Hospital (TCPGH) is a perfect example of too much trust as the foundation of a looming corruption.

On February, the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PHIC) issued an advisory denying the accreditation of the TCPGH. This means patients of the premier city-funded hospital in Tuguegarao can no longer cater poor PhilHealth members who need to avail the health insurance benefits.

This is a big setback for the poor and heads must roll.

Tuguegarao acting Vice Mayor Jude Bayona said the scam was traced as early as July 2013 and it continued up to the early part of 2017, or until it was discovered, to say the least. How can a scam this simple be unnoticed for several years? If not of the small imperfection of the execution of the modus operandi, it could have gone years more.

Sources said the alleged mastermind, a certain Marites Attaban, had already unwanted issues in her stint at a public school in Tuguegarao. It could have been a good precaution for the officials of the city government not to assign her in a very sensitive position. Be it true or not, allegations of corruption should not be taken lightly. Again, this has definitely happened out of trust.

The doctors who was either used or connived in the scam should also be held accountable as they have done blunders too that led to the denial of the hospital’s application for PhilHealth accreditation. At the first place, why would they just sign a claim form without properly verifying if the patient have gone through their administration? The doctors should have kept in their mind that their signature is worth a money. They should not trust too much.

The hospital’s administration could have prevented the scam to happen by not being too lenient in its processes and systems. Clearly, it was the system of the hospital that allowed this scam to prosper. The system was too weak for corruption.

In her testimony before the city council, Attaban said her role in finalizing and completing the application for a benefit claim does not include the verification of the patient’s admission in the hospital. This alone could be a perfect opportunity to fake a claim form because it does not need to be verified before being finalized and passed.

Definitely, this discovery of the scam is a wake-up call for the hospital to improve its system- a system that will no longer allow employees to fake claims. And this should be taken by other hospitals as perfect example of how flawed and weak system can wreak havoc. –Northernforum.net

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