154th Malasakit Center launched

The Malasakit Centers program, a brainchild of Senator Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go, has reached another milestone in its fifth year since its inception, and as part of his continued efforts to ensure a more convenient way to access various forms of medical assistance from the government, Go personally joined the successful launch of the 154th Malasakit center located in Camiguin General Hospital in Mambajao, Camiguin on Wednesday.

The Malasakit Center in CGH, which is a Department of Health-run hospital, is the first in the province, 8th in Northern Mindanao region, and the 38th in the entire Mindanao.

In his speech, Go — who also chairs the Senate Committee on Health and Demography — recalled how he came up with the idea to start the Malasakit Centers program after he witnessed the struggles of Filipinos in getting sufficient and affordable medical care.

Under Republic Act 11463 or the Malasakit Centers Act of 2019, which was principally authored and sponsored by Go in the Senate, all hospitals that are administered and managed by the DoH, plus the Philippine General Hospital in Manila City are mandated to have their own Malasakit Center that shall provide convenient access to medical programs offered by concerned agencies, such as the DSWD, DoH, Philippine Health Insurance Corporation, and Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office.

The one-stop shop aims to reduce to the lowest amount possible the hospital bill of those who seek its assistance. It covers patient services and expenses, such as laboratories, medicines, surgeries and operations.

Through Go’s initiative, the first Malasakit Center was launched in Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center in Cebu City in February 2018. Since then, the program has already helped seven million Filipinos nationwide, as recently reported by the DoH.

“As a public servant, nothing feels more fulfilling than knowing that our initiatives really do help our Filipino people. That is why I am particularly happy with the recent DoH report which indicates that over seven million Filipinos have benefited from the Malasakit Centers scattered nationwide — from Batanes to Tawi-Tawi,” Go said.

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