THE 114th Malasakit Center was opened at the Batangas Medical Center (BatMC) in Batangas City, Thursday, with the objective of providing financial and medical assistance to individuals in the province.
The Malasakit Center in BatMC is the second in the province with the other one located at the Batangas Provincial Hospital in Lemery, Batangas and was opened in January 8, 2019.
Senator Christopher Lawrence Go, the principal author of Republic Act No. 114631, otherwise known as the Malasakit Centers Act of 2019, reaffirmed his commitment to push for health care policies that will improve access to health care services, noting that low-income Filipinos generally experience poorer health and receive poorer health care quality compared to their wealthier counterparts.
“Wala ng dahilan para tanggihan ang ating mga kababayan dahil nasa loob na ng ospital ang mga ahensya ng gobyerno na tutulong para sa kanilang babayarin. Wala itong pinipili. Para ito sa mga poor at indigent na mga pasyente,” he stated during his speech as the guest of honor.
The senator also provided food packs, vitamins, masks and face shields to 1,925 medical frontliners and 266 patients during the opening. Selected frontlines were given new pair of shoes, bicycles and computer tables.
The Malasakit Center will provide “easy access” for patients to various government agencies including the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes, Department of Health (DOH), Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) and Philhealth.
The said agencies will pay for the hospital bill of a patient and the balance will be covered by the Malasakit Center which will be funded by the Presidential Social Fund (PSF). A patient needs only to bring the hospital bill and medical abstract in order to avail.
DOH Undersecretary Roger Tong-an expressed his gratitude for the establishment of the center. “Napakalaking tulong ang Malasakit Center na ito sa ating mga kababayan at lalo na sa mga pasyenteng nangangailangan ng tulong pinansyal upang sila ay makapagpagamot at mabigyan ng agad na lunas sa kanilang mga karamdaman.”
The Malakit Center at BatMC has an initial fund of P5 million pesos.
The inauguration and blessing were also attended by Secretary Michael Lloyd Dino of the Office of the Presidential Assistant for the Visayas, Assistant Secretary Girlie Veloso of the Office of the President, DOH Assistant Secretary Maria Francia Laxamana and DSWD Assistant Secretary Victor Neri.|-BNN/gr