Better access to health services pushed
Alongside the Department of Health, Go has initiated the establishment of several Super Health Centers nationwide, underscoring the crucial role of such facilities in improving the delivery of effective healthcare services to more Filipinos, especially in the rural areas
Senator Christopher ‘‘Bong’’ Go, together with his fellow Senator Robinhood ‘‘Robin’’ Padilla, on Friday personally attended the groundbreaking ceremony for the San Joaquin Super Health Center in Iloilo province as part of his commitment to provide more disadvantaged Filipinos better access to quality yet affordable healthcare services.
Alongside the Department of Health (DoH), Go has initiated the establishment of several Super Health Centers nationwide, underscoring the crucial role of such facilities in improving the delivery of effective healthcare services to more Filipinos, especially in the rural areas.
As chair of the Senate Committee on Health and Demography and Vice chair of the Senate committee on Finance, Go previously pushed for the allocation of nearly P3.6 billion funds under the 2022 Health Facilities Enhancement Program to construct 305 Super Health Centers throughout the country.
Citing how the pandemic became an eye-opener for the government to invest more in healthcare, Go stressed how important it is for disadvantaged Filipinos, especially those residing in far-flung communities, to have access to quality public health services.
The Super Health Center is a medium version of a polyclinic yet an improved version of the rural health unit. The services available in the center include database management, out-patient, birthing, isolation, diagnostic (laboratory: x-ray, ultrasound), pharmacy, and ambulatory surgical unit. Other available services are eye, ear, nose and throat service; oncology centers; physical therapy and rehabilitation center; and telemedicine, where remote diagnosis and treatment of patients will be done.
Super health centers
Aside from San Joaquin, Go also welcomed the construction of Super Health Centers in the towns of Anilao, Carles, Igbaras, Maasin, Pavia and Sara and Iloilo City.
After the groundbreaking, the two senators, together with his team, personally distributed grocery packs, masks, vitamins, meals and shirts to 500 struggling individuals, mainly composed of barangay health workers. Furthermore, they also gave away shoes, bicycles, phablets, watches, and balls for volleyball and basketball to select individuals.
Meanwhile, a team from the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) extended financial assistance to qualified beneficiaries in a separate distribution on the same day.
Go likewise offered medical assistance to those with health concerns. He encouraged them to visit Don Jose S. Monfort Medical Center Extension Hospital in Barotac Nuevo, Western Visayas Sanitarium in Santa Barbara, and Western Visayas Medical Center and West Visayas State University Medical Center, both in Iloilo City, where there are Malasakit Centers available to assist them with settling hospital expenses.
The Malasakit Centers program is a brainchild of Go that aims to provide particularly poor and indigent patients convenient access to medical assistance programs by the DSWD, DoH, Philippine Health Insurance Corporation and Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office. There are now 151 Malasakit Centers that have assisted more than three million Filipinos nationwide.
The senator was likewise instrumental in the passage of Republic Act 11712 which provides mandatory continuing benefits and allowances to public and private healthcare workers and barangay health workers during a state of public health emergency.
Go has also recently pushed for several measures aimed at enhancing the country’s health system, including a bill providing benefits and compensation to barangay health workers; measures providing free annual medical check-up and dialysis to Filipinos; Advanced Nursing Education Bill; a measure establishing an Emergency Medical Services System; bills establishing the Center for Disease Control and Prevention and the Virology Science and Technology Institute of the Philippines; and a measure which seeks to establish Drug Abuse Treatment and Rehabilitation Centers nationwide.
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