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‘Malasakit looks out for citizens needing medical aid’

Cecille Suerte Felipe (The Philippine Star) - April 23, 2021 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Due to the growing number of Filipinos needing medical attention as a result of the pandemic, Sen. Bong Go continued to urge poor and vulnerable citizens in need of medical care to maximize the government’s medical and financial assistance programs through the Malasakit Centers.

In an interview, Go said all members of a family can seek assistance from these centers in many hospitals nationwide even if one of them has already availed of the services.

“You just have to remember this: if you are a Filipino, then you are qualified to seek help in the Malasakit Center. No questions asked, especially if you are a poor and indigent patient,” he noted.

The Malasakit Center is a one-stop shop where Filipinos can avail themselves of financial and medical assistance from four agencies of the government—the Departments of Health and the Social Welfare and Development as well as the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office and PhilHealth.

Go said there are now 102 Malasakit Centers all over the country, with the recent one launched at the Rafael Lazatin Memorial Medical Center in Angeles City, Pampanga last month.

President Duterte signed in 2019 Republic Act 11463, otherwise known as the Malasakit Centers Act of 2019, which directs the establishment of a Malasakit Center in every DOH-run hospital throughout the country as well as at the Philippine General Hospital in Manila.

Other public hospitals may also establish their own centers, provided that they meet the criteria to guarantee sustainability of their operations.

As the primary aim of the Malasakit Centers program is to reduce the patients’ hospital bills to the lowest possible amount by covering various services and expenses, Go noted that social workers are present at each center and are tasked to assist patients on billing concerns.

If the fund from the Malasakit Center will not be enough to cover the bill, then the Office of the President could also come in to help, he added.

“You don’t need to go to and line up at different government office locations. The agencies that could help you are housed in one room inside the hospital,” Go stressed.

According to the senator, these Malasakit Centers have benefited roughly more than two million Filipinos nationwide who asked for medical assistance for their hospital bills and other health-related needs.

BONG GO MALASAKIT CENTER
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