Saturday Sep, 19 2020 12:50:05 AM

In Maguindanao, Sen. Bong Go opens 53rd Malasakit Center

HEALTH • 21:00 PM Fri Dec 6, 2019
Edwin O. Fernandez
Sen. Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go told Maguindanao health and local officials that the Duterte administration will ensure health services reach the indigent through the Malasakit Center.

DATU HOFER, Maguindanao (Dec. 6) – Another “Malasakit Center” has been added to a pro-poor health program that aims to prove the government has heart for the needy.

Sen. Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go today witnessed the opening of the country’s 53rd “Malasakit Center” at the Maguindanao Provincial Hospital here, three days after the ceremonial signing of President Rodrigo Duterte of Republic Act No. 11463, also known as the Malasakit Center Act of 2019.

Initiated by the President and Go when the latter was still the Special Assistant to the President, the

The “Malasakit Center” is a one-stop shop for medical financial assistances from various government agencies and offices. 

It was initiated by the President when Sen. Go was still the Special Assistant to the President aimed at making the indigent patients the government cares for them.

Speaking before Maguindanao’s health providers and local officials, led by Maguindanao Gov. Bai Mariam Sangki-Mangudadatu and her husband, Gov. Suharto Teng Mangudadatu of nearby Sultan Kudarat, Sen. Go said the “Malasakit Center” has four government agencies put together in once inside the government hospital.

These agencies are the Department of Health (DOH), Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) and Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth).

“In the past you need to pawn your carabao for you to have money to pay hospital bills,” Go said in Filipino.

“With Malasakit Center now in place, government agencies will surely help you quickly,” he added.

“Zero balance po ang target ng Malasakit Center,” Go said, referring to free hospital services.

The Malasakit Center has express lanes to prioritize senior citizens and persons with disabilities patients.

The Malasakit Center in Maguindanao is the second in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao. Cotabato Regional and Medical Center in Cotabato City, a component city of BARMM, had the first center in November last year.

Go also shared that more Malasakit Centers will be opened soon as part of the implementation of RA 11463.

“All DOH-run hospitals will have Malasakit centers. As the law says, 73 hospitals across the country will have Malasakit center,” Go later told reporters.

He added that the law allows local government units (LGUs) to establish Malasakit Centers provided that they meet the standards and criteria to ensure sustainability and consistency in the services provided by the centers.

“We have set criteria so the Malasakit center is complete and operational,” Go said.

RA 11463 mandates the DOH, DSWD, PCSO and PhilHealth to issue the implementing rules and regulations (IRR) within 90 days after the President’s approval.

During an interview, the Senator was also asked about his plans as chair of the Senate Committee on Health regarding a report that more than 400,000 cases of dengue have been recorded in the Philippines since January 2019.

“The anti-dengue program of DOH is in place, let’s follow the four reminders form DOH on dengue prevention,” he said.

The DOH advises the public to apply the 4S strategy: search and destroy mosquito breeding grounds, seek early consultation when symptoms appear, self-protection measures such as wearing protective clothing, and saying yes to fogging in hotspot areas.

“Pag mayroong mga sintomas, punta kayo kaagad sa DOH. Ipa-ospital niyo kaagad. Huwag niyo na po antaying lumala pa. Ito naman pong dengue, kailangan po dito is hydration, ma-hydrate ‘yung katawan ng bata,” Go said in a statement.

According to the Dengue Surveillance Report of DOH, there were a total of 402,694 cases of dengue that were documented from January 1 to November 16.  The number has since plateaued. 

There were a total of 209,335 cases of dengue last year during the same period.

DOH Secretary Francisco Duque III said that the number is already going down and that the epidemic is going to end soon. 

Last August, DOH declared a national dengue epidemic, resulting to heightened awareness and more aggressive and sustained efforts to combat dengue nationwide.

In a bid to further improve government vaccination program, Senator Go filed last July a bill that seeks to expand the coverage of the mandatory basic immunization program of the government. 

If approved, the program under Republic Act 10152 will soon include rotavirus, Japanese encephalitis, Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccine (PCV), Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) and other types to be determined by the DOH Secretary.

Presently, the program only covers tuberculosis; diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis; poliomyelitis; measles; mumps, rubella or German measles; hepatitis-B; and H. Influenza type B (HIB). (EOF)


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