Go: Malasakit centers continue to provide convenient access to medical assistance nationwide

5/10/2021 10:40:00 AM

Go: Malasakit centers continue to provide convenient access to medical assistance nationwide

While helping the government address the COVID-19 pandemic and strengthen the health care system amid the ongoing health crisis, Senator Christopher “Bong” Go also remains focused on achieving his vision of providing convenient access to health services nationwide.

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This as Go, chairman of the Senate health and demography committee, recently virtually attended the launch of the country’s 108th Malasakit Center at the Conner District Hospital in Conner, Apayao on Friday, May 7.This is the fifth Malasakit Center in the Cordillera Administrative Region and the second in the province, the other being at the Far North General Hospital and Training Center in Luna town.

The 107th Malasakit Center was also launched at the Luis Hora Memorial Regional Hospital in Bauko, Mountain Province on the same day.In a speech he delivered, Go maintained that taking measures to prevent the further spread of COVID-19 and ensure patients have access to medical care has always been a top priority of the Duterte Administration. headtopics.com

Go, former Special Assistant to President Duterte, alsorevealed recent discussions with the President and Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III to ensure that sufficient resources are allocated for the continued COVID-19 vaccine rollout even beyond this year.

“Kaya binabalanse ng gobyerno ang mga interes ng ekonomiya at public health (That is why we are balancing economic interest and public health). Pero para sa akin, unahin natin dapat ang kalusugan at buhay ng bawat Pilipino (To me, priority should be given to the health and live of every Filipino). A life lost is a life lost forever kaya pangalagaan natin ito (we should take care of it),” he stressed.

Go also emphasized the need to invest more on health research as he cited how crucial it was for the country when he was able to successfully push for additional funding for the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine which now plays an essential role in the country’s pandemic response.

To ensure an adequate health care workforce capacity during the pandemic, the Senator also shared he had earlier urged the National Task Force Against COVID-19 Chief Implementer Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr. and Health Secretary Francisco Duque III to include the frontline personnel of the Professional Regulation Commission, such as proctors and watchers, and board examiners in the A4 priority group for inoculation. headtopics.com

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To improve access to health care for Filipinos, President Duterte signed Republic Act 11463, or the ‘Malasakit Centers Act of 2019,’ on December 3, 2019. The law, which Go authored and sponsored in the Senate, directs the establishment of a Malasakit Center in the Philippine General Hospital in Manila City and the 73 hospitals administered or managed by the Department of Health.

Hospitals run by local government units and other public hospitals may also establish their own provided they meet a standard set of criteria to guarantee the sustainability of its operations.Pioneered in 2018 by then Special Assistant to the President and now Senator Go, the center is a one-stop shop which brings together national agencies offering medical-related assistance programs. They include the DOH, Department of Social Welfare and Development, Philippine Health Insurance Corporation, and Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office.

The primary aim of the Malasakit Center is to reduce a hospital bill balance to the lowest amount possible with the government shouldering the cost of expenses. The program has benefitted an estimated two million Filipinos since its launch.After the ceremony, Go’s personnel provided meals, food packs, vitamins, masks and face shields to a total of 163 health workers and 17 patients.

They gave selected health workers new pairs of shoes or bicycles so they can commute with ease while others received computer tablets for their children’s school activities.Representatives from the DSWD also provided each beneficiary with financial assistance in a separate distribution. headtopics.com

The senator from Davao expressed gratitude to the various government officials who worked together to provide the people of Apayao with better health care.He specifically thanked Secretary Dino of the Office of the Presidential Assistant for the Visayas, DOH Undersecretary Roger Tong-an, Assistant Secretary Girlie Veloso of the Office of the President, DSWD Assistant Secretary Victor Neri, Representative Elias Bulut Jr., Governor Eleanor Begtang, and Mayor Martina Dangoy, among others.

Read more: Manila Bulletin News »

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