Aiming to provide quality and accessible health care service for Filipinos, the Malasakit Center opened its 45th office at the Ospital ng Para-ñaque on Thursday.
Attending its opening is Senator Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go who has made a reality his promise to open one in the city.
“Napakahalaga po ng ating pagtitipon ngayong araw na ito dahil natupad na po ang ipinangako ko sa mga taga Parañaque noong nagdaang taon at mga nagdaang buwan: Bubuksan na po sa wakas ang isang opisina ng Malasakit Center dito sa inyong lungsod ng Parañaque,” Go said.
Go, who started the Malasakit Center initiative a year ago, explained to the crowd the role of Malasakit Center in providing quality health care service to Filipinos.
He said that the Malasakit Center is a one-stop shop that aims to help Filipinos acquire more accessibly financial medical assistance. It also aims to make the process simpler for Filipinos to seek assistance from the different government agencies, such as the Department of Health (DOH), Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), PhilHealth and the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO).
“May priority lanes din po para sa mga senior citizens at PWDs sa mga centers na ito,” Go added.
The senator, who also filed the Malasakit Center Act of 2019 bill in the Senate, affirmed that quality health care has always been a priority of President Rodrigo Duterte, having also emphasized such priority in his recent State of the Nation Address (SONA).
“Isa po ang pagpapabuti ng ating health care system sa mga prayoridad namin ni Pangulong Rodrigo Duterte,” he said adding that the President wishes to make health care service free and more accessible, especially for the poor and indigent.
In an ambush interview, the senator told members of the press that the Malasakit Center Act of 2019 is being fast-tracked in Congress, saying “sa ngayon, tapos na ang interpellation sa plenary sa Senado at tapos na rin ito sa committee report ng Kongreso.”
According to Go, he is hopeful that by December, upon resumption of the Congress, “maisapasa na po ito para po to set a criteria na dito sa Malasakit Center, hindi po mabungi bungi ang Malasakit Center. Magkaroon talaga ng iba’t ibang ahensya ng gobyerno na ilagay na dun sa center.”
The senator is concerned about the lack of personnel and equipment inside Malasakit Centers , hopeful that once the program will be institutionalized, “lahat ng DOH-run hospitals sa buong bansa ay magkakaroon na ng Malasakit Centers na kumpleto sa pasilidad at personnel, hindi katulad ngayon na bungi-bungi pa ang ilan sa ating mga opisina.”
The senator also clarified that the government agencies involved in the Malasakit Center have the full discretion in providing aid and assistance to the patients.
The Malasakit Center in Parañaque City is one of two Malasakit Centers to be opened this week.
The 46th will be opened in Novaliches District Hospital.