Senator Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go joined various national and local government officials during the opening of the country’s 36th and 37th Malasakit Centers in Borongan, Eastern Samar, and Ormoc, Leyte respectively on July 5, 2019.
“Patuloy ang pagtataguyod ng gobyerno ng Malasakit Centers sa iba’t ibang parte ng bansa para mas maraming pasyente ang matutulungan lalo na yung mga nasa probinsya at malalayong lugar. Tulong pambayad ng gamot at pagpapagamot po ito. Pera niyo ito, ibinabalik lang sa inyo sa pamamagitan ng maayos na serbisyong medikal,” Go explained in his speech.
Just like the launch the other day in Siquijor, the opening of the two newest Malasakit Centers was led by Presidential Adviser for the Visayas Michael Lloyd Dino. The centers are hosted in the Eastern Samar Provincial Hospital and Ormoc Provincial Hospital.
“Ang Malasakit Center ay isang ‘one-stop shop’ para maging mas mabilis ang pagkuha ng assistance ng mga mahihirap na Pilipino mula sa mga ahensiya ng gobyerno,” Go further explained. The agencies include the Department of Health, the Department of Social Welfare and Development, Philhealth, and Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO).
“Kesa magdusa po ang mga kababayan natin sa kapipila para sa tulong ng gobyerno, nariyan po ang 37 na Malasakit Centers sa bansa para tumulong sa kanila,” Go added saying that one of the primary goals of the Duterte administration is to make quality healthcare accessible to all Filipinos.
Since the initiative began in 2018, 37 Malasakit Centers have been established and are now fully functional to serve the needs of millions of Filipinos in several provinces across the country.
“Palagi ko po uunahin ang kapakanan ng mga Pilipinong pinaka-nangangailangan ng atensyon mula sa gobyerno. Isa na dito ang mga kababayan natin sa probinsya at malalayong lugar na may sakit. Ito ang serbisyong ipinangako ko sa inyo, serbisyo at pagmamalasakit na ramdam kahit saang dako ng bansa,” he said.
As part of Go’s legislative agenda aimed at helping the Duterte administration achieve positive genuine change felt by all Filipinos, Go’s first filed bill seeks to institutionalize the establishment of such Malasakit Centers in more provinces and strategic urban centers in the country to make quality healthcare more affordable and accessible to all Filipinos.
Based on his idea, the Malasakit Center is a continuing program of the administration seeking to make it easier and faster for indigent patients to avail of medical and financial assistance from the government by bringing together under one roof all concerned agencies such as the DOH, DSWD, PCSO, and PhilHealth.
To institutionalize these centers, Go recently filed the Malasakit Center Act of 2019 in the Senate to ensure that “there shall be a Malasakit Center in each DOH, LGU, DND and SUC hospital in the country as a processing center for all Philhealth concerns regarding coverage, billing, health benefits packages, patient navigation and referral to the health care provider network, and one-stop shop medical assistance to cover out-of-pocket medical expenses of indigent and poor patients.”
Go added that Malasakit Centers will be a one-stop shop for medical and financial assistance and a health care processing center for patient assistance to complement the implementation of Universal Healthcare Law.
“Ito po ‘yung pangako ko noon na sana mapapabilis na ‘yong serbisyo medikal,” Go told the members of the press. He further said that before, the length of time Filipinos process for financial medical support could reach a week, with the Malasakit Center, all papers and documents in all government agencies concerned can be processed in only a day.
The senator also emphasized that though the Malasakit Center bill would raise some minor concerns in harmonizing with the Universal Health Care Act, Go pushes that the most important thing is to provide Filipinos the right, fast and efficient healthcare service.
“So papaano po natin ito pagtutugmain lahat, isa lang po ang ating aim which is mapabilis, maisaayos at maging maaasahan ang serbisyong medikal para sa bawat Pilipinong nangangailangan,” Go ended.
Go hopes that if he is given the chance to head the committee on health in the Senate, he plans to address other issues concerning our country’s healthcare services such as the need to increase bed capacities and to provide more equipment in public hospitals nationwide.
Go has also vowed to further pursue legislations that will make government programs more responsive to the needs of every Filipino and to make sure that the progress attained during the Duterte administration is realized and felt by everyone.
“Nais ko matulungan pa ang ating gobyerno na ipagpatuloy ang pagbabago at pagmamalasakit sa tao sa pamamagitan ng pagbibigay ng mabilis, maayos at maaasahang serbisyo para sa bawat Pilipino, he said. #####