The Philippine government has opened its 138th Malasakit Center at the Sulu Sanitarium in Jolo, Sulu on Friday, Sept. 3.
This the eighth hospital in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao and second in Jolo to open a Malasakit Center, after the Sulu Provincial Hospital which launched its own last January 6.
Senate Committee on Health Chair Christopher “Bong” Go welcomed the opening of the latest 38th Malasakit Center in a virtual message.
Go said that the center aims to make medical and financial assistance programs of government more accessible to patients who have difficulty paying for their medical expenses.
“Natutuwa ako na may dalawang Malasakit Center na sa Sulu and I hope this will not be the last. Nag-umpisa ito dahil sa experience ko bilang executive assistant nung mayor pa ang Pangulo. Nakita ko ‘yung araw-araw na problema kung saan maraming pasyente ang humihingi ng tulong mula sa city hall,” he said.
“Nakita ko ‘yung puso ni Pangulong Duterte… dahil hindi n’ya po matiis na hindi tulungan ‘yung mga kababayan natin. Minsan po mga taga-Zamboanga, minsan po mga kababayan nating Muslim, mga Maranaw, mga Tausug pumupunta po ‘yan diyan sa (Davao) city hall humihingi ng tulong,” he said.
The Malasakit Center brings under one roof the national agencies from which patients may avail of medical assistance, namely the Department of Health, the Department of Social Welfare and Development, Philippine Health Insurance Corporation, and Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office.
The program was institutionalized under Republic Act No. 11463, also known as the Malasakit Centers Act of 2019.
Under this law, all hospitals run by the Department of Health and the Philippine General Hospital are mandated to open a Malasakit Center while other public hospitals may establish their own provided they meet the standard criteria and can guarantee the sustainability of its operations.
(Eagle News Service)