Senator Christopher “Bong” Go on Friday attended the virtual launch of the 84th Malasakit Center at President Ramon Magsaysay Memorial Hospital in Iba, Zambales.
The newly opened Malasakit Center in Zambales is the first in the province, ninth in Region 3 and the 44th in Luzon. The hospital is also a COVID-19-designated hospital where confirmed and suspected COVID-19 cases are currently confined.
Expressing his concern for Filipinos who had to spend long hours in several queues just to seek government assistance, Go explained that the purpose of these one-stop shops is to ensure that Filipinos gain easier and more convenient access to medical and financial assistance from the government.
“Mahirap magkasakit, ito ang mga panahon na litong-lito ang mga kababayan natin at hindi nila alam saan sila hihingi ng tulong,” he added.
In Malasakit Centers, patients or their representatives will only need to fill up a unified form to request assistance, instead of having to visit government offices scattered in various locations. In addition, an express lane for persons with disability and senior citizens is also available.
Concerned agencies extending medical and financial assistance housed in these centers are the Department of Social Welfare and Development, Department of Health, Philippine Health Insurance Corporation, and Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office.
“Eighty-fourth na Malasakit Center na po itong sa inyo sa Zambales at tuloy-tuloy po ito dahil batas na po ito ngayon,” Go said.
“Sa batas na ito, magkakaroon po ng Malasakit Centers sa lahat ng 73 DOH-run hospitals at ‘yung mga local government hospitals na gustong magkaroon ng Malasakit Center, they have to follow a criteria na nakalaan sa batas katulad po ng inyo. Sumunod kayo sa criteria kaya meron na kayong Malasakit Center dyan sa Iba, Zambales,” he added.
With the enactment of the Republic Act No. 11463, otherwise known as the Malasakit Centers Act of 2019, all hospitals run by the DOH all over the country and in the Philippine General Hospital in Manila are now mandated to establish their own Malasakit Centers.
On the other hand, hospitals run by local government units and other public hospitals may also establish their own Malasakit Centers provided that they meet a standard set of criteria and guarantee the availability of funds for the operation of their centers, including its maintenance, personnel and staff training, among others.
Patients who would be admitted to LGU-run and other public hospitals but are eligible for medical and financial assistance could also seek assistance from the Malasakit Centers.
“Sa mga pasyente po sa Zambales, iparating nyo lang sa mga kapitbahay nyo na meron na kayong Malasakit Center. Para po ito sa mga poor and indigent patients. Wala pong pulitika dito, wala pong pinipili dito,” Go reminded the residents.