SEN. Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go joined local executives, and hospital administration and staff in the opening of the 44th Malasakit Center on Wednesday at the JR Borja Memorial Hospital in Cagayan de Oro City.
The Malasakit Center at the JR Borja Memorial Hospital is the second center in the city and the 13th in Mindanao.
Go assured that more Malasakit Centers would be opened soon and that the government “[have] so much more to do to provide Filipinos, especially the poor, the medical care and financial assistance that they need.”
“As the people’s voice now in the Senate, I am making sure that this program will continue regardless of who will be seated in Malacañang. I sponsored and defended a Senate bill institutionalizing Malasakit Centers to complement the Universal Health Care Act,” he said.
Go said concerns regarding funding for the proposed Malasakit Center Act of 2019 have already been clarified during the Senate deliberations. A counterpart bill in the House of Representatives has also already passed the committee level.
In light of congestion problems in government hospitals, Go explained that such hospitals are managed by the Department of Health (DoH). As the chairman of the Senate Committee on Health, he will coordinate with the DoH to address these problems.
The senator added that once the measure becomes law, 72 DoH-run hospitals will be prioritized in establishing their own Malasakit Center. Other public hospitals need to be evaluated to ensure they are capable of operating a center.
Go has also filed other bills related to healthcare. Some proposals will require local government units to appoint at least three barangay (village) health workers in every barangay; institutionalize an emergency medical services system; formulate an advanced nursing education program; expand the coverage of the mandatory basic immunization program; and establish a drug abuse treatment and rehabilitation center in every province.