Baguio City Mayor Benjamin Magalong (PNA file photo)

BAGUIO CITY – Mayor Benjamin Magalong on Tuesday said he asked the Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (PhilHealth) to reconsider its move to scrap the accreditation of two hospitals here.

This, as the Saint Louis Hospital of the Sacred Heart and Notre Dame de Chartres, both tertiary hospitals providing state-of-the-art services to ordinary and special medical conditions, face closure due to the state insurer's decision.

"I am assailing it. I already sent word thru our regional VP (vice president), baka pwede pang magkaroon ng reconsideration (there might be a way to reconsider)," he said in a media interview.

Magalong said the move will affect preventive care treatment in the city as more patients are reliant on PhilHealth for their medical needs.

"Pag ni-revoke mo, halos ang impact noon is magsasara ang hospital kasi 95 to 98 percent nung kanilang pasyente are PhilHealth accredited, they will avail of their PhilHealth benefits kaya talagang malaking impact yan sa finances ng hospital (the impact of revocation is closure because 95 to 98 percent of their clients are Philhealth members who avail of their medical needs subject to the use of Philhealth)," he said.

The local chief executive also described the decision as untimely, considering its possible impact.

"Malaki ang impact lalong lalo na ngayong (This has a big impact especially now that we are under a) pandemic so if you look at the words I was using, very inconsiderate, very inappropriate, very unreasonable, very unconscionable dahil nga wala sa timing, wala sa oras at pwede naman pag-usapan muna ito (through) dialogue (Because of it is untimely and I think this can be addressed through dialogue)," the mayor said.

Magalong said the problem stemmed from the hospitals' alleged violations related to failure to accredit or provide healthcare to senior citizens under PhilHealth's program.

On Sept. 1, the state insurer implemented a 2012 decision suspending for three months the accreditation of the Benguet General Hospital (BeGH) amid the threat of the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic.

The BeGH is a 300-bed facility managed by the provincial government and is the only tertiary hospital in the area that caters to residents who are mostly farmers. (PNA)