Senator Lawrence “Bong” Go joined virtually Apayao officials led by Gov. Eleanor Bulut-Begtang represented by Executive Assistant Phillip Uba, Conner Mayor Martina Dangoy, Department of Health –Cordillera Regional Director Ruby Constantino, CDH Chief of Hospital Dr. Nelson Rigor in launching the Malasakit Center on Friday, May 7, 2021.
Also present were Charlyn Tagabing of the Provincial DOH Office, Martha Romasoc of the Philippine Health Insurance Corp, Lorna Lumiaon of the Department of Social Welfare and Development and other representatives.
Presidential Assistant for the Visayas Michael Diño, DOH Undersecretary Roger Tong-an, and DSWD Assistant Secretary Victor Neri. also joined in the virtual room,
Go said that the Malasakit Center was opened for the poor and indigent Filipinos to help in their hospitalization needs.
“Ang Malasakit Center ay para sa mga Pilipino, para po sa mga poor at indigent patients, para sa mga hopeless at helpless, anjan po ang Malasakit Center na handang tumulong sa inyo.”
“Ang Malasakit Center ay one-stop shop na kung saan nasa loob na ng hospital ang apat na ahensya ng gobyerno, na handang tumulong sa inyo hanggang sa maging zero balance ang bayarin nag pasyente sa ospital. Lumapit lang po kayo sa Malasakit Center at tutulungan kayo ng social worker para mabayaran ang gastusin sa mga hospitals,” Go said.
The participating agencies are the Department of Health, Department of Social Welfare and Development, Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office and Philippine Health Insurance Corporation.
He said that aside from the support of the agencies, there will be a P2 million fund monthly from the Office of the President which will support the patients who would be availing of the services of the Malasakit Center.
Go added that the Office of the Senate Committee on Health and Demography which he chairs, could also provide a one-time fund of P10 million under the medical assistance of indigent patients.
With all the support the government is providing, there should be no reason why individuals who needs to be hospitalized and be treated should not be given health care.
“Wala na pong dahilan na wala pong pambayad ng ospital sa Conner, Apayao,” Go said.
Begtang, in her message, thanked President Rodrigo Duterte and Sen. Go for the establishment of the second Malasakit Center in the province and the 108th in the country, which she said is very helpful for the poor and indigent patients of Apayao.
The first Malasakit Center at the Far North Luzon General Hospital and Training Center in Luna was launched in September last year.
Begtang said the Malasakit Center in Apayao has made more convenient and accessible the availment of financial assistance from the various government agencies offering similar assistance. Since it is a one-stop shop within the hospital, family members of the patients do not have to spend additional time, energy and money going from one government agency to another to seek for assistance.
“The Malasakit Center lightened the burden of the IApayaos particularly those sick and hospitalized,” the Governor added.
Meanwhile, Dr. Constantino said that aside from being a one-stop shop, the Malasakit Center also help in many other ways such as aiding in the referral system, serving as a hub for the dissemination of health information and PhilHealth matters, ensuring good interaction with clients, and providing a special lane for senior citizens, pregnant women and persons with disabilities, among other functions.
“These Malasakit Centers are yet another way of broadening the reach of Universal Health Care, which aims to bring quality health services to the people especially to those who are most in need. As we know, “malasakit” is a Tagalog term that refers to a sense of protective concern or care for others, so these centers definitely live up to their name,” Constantino said.
As part of the support of the Senator, his personnel who were at the CDH provided meals, grocery packs, vitamins, facemasks and faceshields to all the 146 personnel and staff of the hospital as well as the patients. (JDP/RMC- PIA CAR)
By Redjie Melvic M. Cawis