TACLOBAN CITY– Senator Christopher “Bong” Go visited the Samar Provincial Hospital in Catbalogan City on August 11 to personally inspect the operations of the Malasakit Center, a facility that provides streamlined medical assistance, particularly to indigent Filipinos.
Go, who toured the hospital along with Governor Sharee Ann Tan and Rep. Angelica Natasha Co of the BHW party-list group, emphasized the vital role of the centers in ensuring that indigent patients should have access to necessary healthcare services.
“Huwag po kayong magpasalamat sa amin. Huwag po kayong magpasalamat sa mga proyektong naitulong namin. Sa totoo lang po, kami po ang dapat magpasalamat sa inyo dahil binigyan n’yo kami ng pagkakataon na makapagserbisyo sa inyo. Hinding-hindi ko sasayangin ang pagkakataong ibinigay ninyo sa akin,” the senator, who chairs the committee on health at the Senate, said.
During his visit, Go also heard some testimonies of patients who availed and benefited from the Malasakit Center.
The senator also extended support to 256 patients and 573 frontliners, including security guards, utilities, and hospital staff. The assistance included essential items like grocery packs, masks, vitamins, shirts, and snacks.
The Malasakit Center, a program initiated by Go, serves as a one-stop-shop for medical assistance and services as it aims to ease the financial burden on patients by facilitating the coordination of resources from various government agencies, such as the Department of Health (DOH), Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth), Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), and Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO).
Under Republic Act No. 11463, which Go principally authored and sponsored, every DOH-run hospital, plus the Philippine General Hospital in Manila City, are mandated to have their own Malasakit Center.
Other public hospitals may also have a Malasakit Center upon assessment of DOH to ensure they meet the criteria provided in the law. There are now 158 operational centers across the country.
For her part, Gov.Tan also took the opportunity to thank the senator and share some initiatives that Go did to help the province of Samar and its people.
Among these are his efforts during times of crises as well as key infrastructure projects that the senator was instrumental in ensuring funding for.
(JOEY A. GABIETA)