“The Malasakit Center is one of the solutions the Duterte government has developed to provide quick and quality access to healthcare to all Filipinos, regardless of their age, sex, ethnic background, religion and political affiliation,” Go said.
Boy Santos/File
Senate approves Malasakit Center Act
Paolo Romero (The Philippine Star) - November 12, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — The Senate approved on third and final reading the proposed Malasakit Center Act of 2019, which seeks to institutionalize the establishment of one-stop health and social service assistance desks in all 73 hospitals run by the Department of Health (DOH).

The bill, authored and sponsored by Sen. Christopher “Bong” Go, aims to consolidate the financial assistance provided by the Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (PhilHealth), DOH, Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) and Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) in one office so that patients or their representatives will save time and resources in availing themselves of such assistance from the government.

“The Malasakit Center is one of the solutions the Duterte government has developed to provide quick and quality access to healthcare to all Filipinos, regardless of their age, sex, ethnic background, religion and political affiliation,” Go said.

He also thanked the DOH, DSWD, PCSO, PhilHealth, Department of Budget and Management (DBM) and other government agencies for “their cooperation and commitment to ensure the successful implementation” of his one-stop service through Malasakit Centers.

In an interview, Go said there are currently 50 Malasakit Centers nationwide serving more than 160,000 patients.

Under Senate Bill 1076, hospitals run by local government units (LGUs) 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 maintenance, personnel and staff training, among others.

Go said patients admitted to LGU-run and other public hospitals but are eligible for medical and financial assistance may also seek assistance from the Malasakit Centers.

The bill also adopted Sen. Franklin Drilon’s amendment, which ensured that the proposed legislation would not limit the “access to or availability of medical and financial assistance only to indigent and financially incapacitated patients referred through Malasakit Centers.”

For his part, Senate President Pro Tempore Ralph Recto wanted to ensure that patients in other government hospitals without Malasakit Centers would continue to receive medical assistance from the DOH and that “financially incapacitated patients who seek health services in other public hospitals and private facilities are still eligible to avail of financial and medical assistance subject to the assessment and recommendation of the medical social worker.”

DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH DOH MALASAKIT ACT
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