Fri. Jun 25th, 2021

By Senator Bong Go

As part of the government’s commitment to serving particularly poor and indigent patients, I personally attended the launch of the country’s 116th Malasakit Center at the Jose R. Reyes Memorial Medical Center in Manila City on Friday, May 28.

The Malasakit Center is the 22nd established in Metro Manila and third in Manila City, aside from the Dr. Jose Fabella Memorial Hospital, which officially opened earlier that day, and the Philippine General Hospital.

This provided me an opportunity to recount my experience in Davao City which provided me a better understanding of the health care needs of the poorest and most vulnerable. How can I not acknowledge the financial strain that comes along with any health challenge and advised indigent patients to seek aid through the center for their medical needs.

Sa mga pasyente, lapitan niyo lang ang Malasakit Center dahil para ito sa inyo. Kung may bill kayo, nandiyan ang apat na ahensya ng gobyerno na tutulong para mabayaran ito. At kung may naiwang balanse, may iniwan rin na pondo ang Office of the President… ang target ay maging zero balance na kayo.

The Malasakit Center is a one-stop shop which brings together under one roof all the national agencies from which patients may apply for assistance, namely the Department of Health, Department of Social Welfare and Development, Philippine Health Insurance Corporation, and Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office.

I principally authored and sponsored the measure that became Republic Act No. 11463 or the Malasakit Centers Act of 2019. The law directs the establishment of a Malasakit Center in every DOH-run hospital throughout the country and in the Philippine General Hospital.

The primary aim of the program is to reduce to the lowest amount possible the balance of the hospital bills of those who seek its assistance by covering patient services and expenses, such as laboratories, medicines, surgeries, and operations

Yan ang konsepto ng Malasakit Center. Para talaga ito sa mga poor at indigent patients. Nakikiusap ako sa hospital management na bigyan rin ng priority ang mga kababayan natin na senior citizens at may disabilities para mauna sila sa pila.

Okay lang kahit ubusin niyo ang pondo ng gobyerno basta huwag niyo lang pababayaan ang mga mahihirap na pasyente. Umaasa ako na patuloy na susuportahan ng susunod na administrasyon ang programa dahil more than two million Filipinos na rin ang natutulungan nito.

I extend my gratitude to the hospital staff for their valuable contributions at this time and vowed, as the Chair of the Senate Committee on Health, to promote their welfare and defend their interests.

To strengthen the country’s health workforce, may I share that the board exams for health graduates will now proceed in July after he urged National Task Force Against COVID-19 chief implementer and vaccine czar Carlito Galvez Jr. to include the frontline personnel of the Professional Regulation Commission in the A4 priority group for vaccination.

Hindi mababayaran ang sakripisyo ninyo sa panahong ito. Kaunting tiis lang. Alam namin na hirap kayo pero kayo ang inaasahan ng bansa sa giyerang ito laban sa COVID-19. Nandidito ako sa likod niyo bilang inyong committee chair. Ipaglalaban ko ang kapakanan ng mga frontliners sa abot ng aking makakaya. Kaya huwag kayong mag-atubiling lumapit sa akin.

In line with this, I encourage all members of the top priority groups to get vaccinated so that the government can proceed to inoculating the wider population. He reminded everyone to continue to comply with the health and safety protocols until the country has safely achieved herd immunity.

Magtiwala kayo sa bakuna. Ito ang tanging susi upang ma-achieve natin ang herd immunity at makabalik tayo sa normal natin na pamumuhay. Pagkatapos ng mga frontiners, susunod ang mga senior citizens at may comorbidities, at yung mga pinaka-vulnerable sa sakit… Sa susunod na buwan, ibubukas na rin natin ang rollout sa A4 at A5 priority groups o ang mga essential workers at indigent citizens para mas mabuksan na natin ang ekonomiya.

Huwag po kayo mawalan ng pag-asa dahil hindi namin kayo pababayaan ni Pangulong Duterte at ng gobyernong ito. Walang tigil po ang serbisyo namin lalo na para sa kapakanan ng mahihirap nating mga kababayan.

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