Malasakit Center to boost medical financial aid in Guimaras
ILOILO CITY, Aug. 1 (PIA) – – The access to medical financial assistance in the island province of Guimaras was given further boost with the opening of the country’s 77th Malasakit Center at a hospital there on Thursday, July 30.
Republic Act 11463, otherwise known as the Malasakit Center Act, provides for the establishment of Malasakit program and institutionalizes Malasakit Centers in all Department of Health (DOH) hospitals in the country.
The law was authored by Senator Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go who is the chairperson of the Senate Committee on Health and Demography.
Go said the establishment of Malasakit Center at Dr. Catalino Gallego Nava Provincial Hospital (DCGNPH) is a fulfillment of his promise to the Guimarasnons during the opening of the facility through a virtual launching ceremony joined by officials of the provincial government of Guimaras and partner agencies.
“Ito na po yung fulfillment ng pangako at para po ito sa tao. Huwag kayong magpasalamat sa akin dahil sa tao po itong Malasakit Center. Sa inyo po ito, pera niyo po ito at ibinabalik lang sa inyo. Naging instrumento lang po kami na mga mambabatas” (This is the fulfillment of my promise and this is for the people. Don’t thank me because this Malasakit Center is for the people. This is yours, this is where your money went and is being returned to you. We legislators are just instruments for this project), Go said.
An initial P5-million fund was also set aside for the Malasakit Center which is located inside the Dr. Catalino Gallego Nava Provincial Hospital DCGNPH in San Miguel, Jordan, Guimaras.
Aside from Guimaras Lone District Representative Ma. Lucille L. Nava, M.D. and Governor Samuel Gumarin, other key government officials who joined Go during the virtual launching ceremony were Presidential Assistant for the Visayas Secretary Michael Lloyd Dino, Assistant Secretary Jonji Gonzales, Sangguniang Panlalawigan Member Josefina de la Cruz, Department of Health – Center for Health Development Western Visayas Director Dr. Marlyn Convocar, Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Region 6 Director Ma. Evelyn Macapobre and PhilHealth Region 6 Regional Vice President Atty. Valerie Ann Hollero.
Nava said having a Malasakit Center in the province is a breather for the Guimarasnons as indigent patients who need financial medical assistance have a place to go to.
According to Nava this hallmark of the present administration will foster hope to the people as she expressed gratitude to Senator Go.
“In this times where people are already crying for help because of these calamities that are coming not only in our province but the whole Philippines, the appearance of this Malasakit Center is a breather that at least we have another blessing and the hope that if ever all our indigent patients are needing the support, there is one center that they could go to,” Nava said.
Gumarin said his appeal to Senator Go to put up a Malasakit Center in Guimaras is part of the efforts of the Provincial Government of Guimaras to provide the best health services and to further lessen financial burden of the residents of the province especially the indigents.
“Ang mga mahihirap at indigent na Guimarasnon maari nang mapababa ang babayaran sa hospital o wala na mismong babayaran dahil sa Malasakit Center (The poor and indigent Guimarasnons can lower their hospital bills or would even have no more financial obligation due to the Malasakit Center) which houses different government agencies na maari ninyong hingan ng tulong,” Gumarin said.
He also expressed gratitude to Senator Go for showing his love and concern for the Guimarasnons for establishing the 77th Malasakit Center in Guimaras.
Macapobre underscored the commitment of the agency in providing the needs of the Guimarasnons through the Malasakit Center.
“Ito pong Malasakit Center ay inaasahan nating maghatid ng malaking tulong sa ating mga kababayan lalo na po ang may mga karamdaman at makakaasa kayo na kami sa DSWD ay patuloy na susuporta sa proyektong ito (This Malasakit Center is hoped to provide a big help to our fellowmen especially those who are sick and you can be assured that we in DSWD will continue to support this project), ” Macapobre said.
The Malasakit Center is a one-stop-shop that houses government agencies such as PhilHealth, Department of Social Welfare and Development and the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office and the Department of Health where indigent patients can easily access financial medical assistance. (Guimaras PIO/JSC/laf/PIA6 Iloilo)