Wednesday Oct, 27 2021 09:55:27 PM

Go assures focus on health needs of Filipinos, frontliners

HEALTH • 11:15 AM Sun Sep 26, 2021
Edwin O. Fernandez and Noel Punzalan
Senator Bong Go (right) and CRMC Chief of Hospital Dr. Ishmael Dimaren lay down the foundation for the isolation facility inside CRMC compound Saturday. (Contributed photo)

COTABATO CITY – Senator Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go has assured the people and health front-liners in Region 12 (Soccsksargen) and the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) that the government is always ready to attend to their needs in the face of the pandemic.

Go, in a monitoring visit here Friday afternoon, also assured the workers of the Cotabato Regional and Medical Center (CRMC), who are themselves battling the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19), that he is working hard on the passage of bills that ensure allowances and benefits to health care workers.

The chairperson of the Senate committee on health and demography said his proposed measure has expanded the coverage of benefits to include all health workers in hospitals and other Covid-19 treatment facilities during the state of public health emergency.

“All health care workers on duty are considered exposed to Covid-19. We cannot see this virus and it is hard to separate those who are directly exposed from those who are not,” he told officials of the CRMC here. “All health workers in both private and government facilities are included in the proposed Senate bill on special risk allowance that I had filed.”

Go also led two groundbreaking ceremonies for vital health facilities – a new building intended for the 16th Malasakit Center he inaugurated on Nov. 19, 2018, and a 100-bed capacity Covid-19 isolation and treatment facility in the BARMM – both at the CRMC compound.

The CRMC is the Covid-19 referral hospital in Soccsksargen and the BARMM in Central Mindanao.

“We all know that once you are inside the hospital, you cannot say you are not exposed to the virus,” he added.

Go was accompanied by CRMC Chief of Hospital Dr. Ishmael Dimaren, Cotabato City Mayor Cynthia Guiani Sayadi, and Minister Eduard Guerra of the BARMM Ministry of Public Works in the twin groundbreaking ceremonies.

“President Rodrigo Duterte’s marching order is to ensure health services to Filipinos must be prioritized,” he also said in the vernacular.

Go said the new Malasakit building alone, once completed, would enhance the services it renders to the poor.

“The Malasakit Center is for the poor and the indigents, for the hapless and helpless that have nowhere to go for their medical needs,” he said in his speech, noting that it serves as a one-stop shop for the poor, including senior citizens and persons with disabilities, where they could avail of free access to medical services by the government.

Under the program, poor patients are assisted in availing of services and financial assistance provided by the Department of Social Welfare and Development, Department of Health, Philippine Health Insurance Corp., and Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office, among others.

“These agencies will help the poor avail of zero bills for their patients in hospitals,” Go said, adding that 141 Malasakit centers are functioning across the country.

To express the senator’s appreciation for the efforts of front-liners, staff members of Go’s office distributed food packs, face shields, face masks, vitamins, and Jollibee meals to 1,848 front-liners and 270 patients of the CRMC.

He also raffled off bikes, computer tablets, and shoes for the CRMC employees.

After his visit to this city, Go accompanied President Duterte to the inauguration and opening of the Sultan Kudarat Provincial Hospital in Isulan town. (PNA)

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