139th Malasakit Center opens in QC as Go reaffirms continued efforts to improve PH’s health care system

139th Malasakit Center opens in QC as Go reaffirms continued efforts to improve PH’s health care system

By Ernie Reyes

MANILA – Last Monday, September 13, Senator Christopher Lawrence
“Bong” Go virtually attended the launch of the 139th Malasakit Center
at Quirino Memorial Medical Center in Quezon City.

This is the 10th Malasakit Center in the city, in addition to the Lung
Center of the Philippines, Novaliches District Hospital, Philippine
Heart Center, Philippine Children’s Medical Center, National Kidney
and Transplant Institute, East Avenue Medical Center, Veterans
Memorial Medical Center, Philippine Orthopedic Center, and National
Children’s Hospital.

In his speech, Go explained that the start of the Malasakit Center was
a shared vision with President Rodrigo Duterte after they have
personally witnessed the struggles of low-income families in seeking
medical attention considering that most services are beyond their
financial means.

“Kaya noong naging Pangulo siya (Duterte) naglagay tayo ng Malasakit
Center sa Cebu. Sinubukan muna natin, sinubukan natin hanggang more
than 300,000 na po ang natulungan po sa Cebu,” Go said.

“At ngayon po’y naging Senador po ako, isinabatas po natin itong
Malasakit Center tuloy-tuloy po ang pagbubukas ng Malasakit Center,
batas na ito ngayon. So, lahat po ng mga DOH-run hospitals ay
magkakaroon ng Malasakit Center at hindi po kami titigil kung papaano
pa po makatulong sa mga kababayan natin,” he added.

Principally authored and sponsored by Senator Go, Republic Act No.
11463, otherwise known as the Malasakit Centers Act of 2019, mandates
all hospitals administered and managed by the Department of Health and
the Philippine General Hospital in the City of Manila to establish
Malasakit Centers.

Other public hospitals may also establish their own provided they meet
a standard set of criteria and guarantee the sustainability of their
operations.

RA 11463 was one of the priority bills of the senator as part of his
commitment as Chair of the Senate Committee on Health and Demography
to improve public health delivery to those in need, especially amid an
ongoing pandemic.

“Wala na po akong nakikitang dahilan na hindi natin matulungan at
masuportahan ‘yung mga mahihirap nating mga pasyente,” Go expressed.

“Napakahirap ng maging mahirap, lalung-lalo na po sa panahon ngayon na
wala po silang matakbuhan. Ayaw ko pong mangyari na naghihingalo po
ang ating mga kababayan na wala silang matakbuhan po,” he added.

Go reaffirmed in his remarks that through the joint efforts of the
Department of Health and his office, Quirino Memorial Medical Center
will be granted additional funds on top of the previously allotted
budget to further support and improve the hospital.

“The more Malasakit (Centers) na puwede nating buksan, mas mabuti po
at pakiusap ko lang naman sa susunod na administrasyon, kung sino man
po ang papalarin ay sana po’y ipagpatuloy ninyo ang mga programang
magaganda, nakakatulong naman po sa mga kababayan natin sana po’y
ipagpatuloy ninyo,” Go noted.

Given the critical situation of hospitals nationwide caused by the
alarming rates of COVID-19, Go then mentioned that he will continue to
push for more measures that will enhance and expand the capabilities
of the country’s health care system.

“Talo po nila ako sa debate doon pero hindi po ako sumusuko,
pinaglalaban ko kahit isang linggo kami, alam naman natin na sinasadya
lang patagalin para lang po pahirapan ‘yung mga hospital bills (in the
Senate),” Go shared.

“Papaano po gagaling ‘yung pasyente, isang kama, apat na pasyente.
Baliktad, dapat ng handa tayo, dapat nga mayroon tayong apat na
hospital beds sa isang pasyente para ready po ‘yung tatlo lalong-lalo
na po ngayon na nasa pandemya po tayo, hirap po ang ating mga
kababayan,” he continued.

The Senator then commended medical frontliners for their selfless
service, saying, “hindi po nababayaran ng kahit ano pa man ang
sakripisyo niyo sa panahong ito kaya huwag niyo pong pabayaan ang mga
kababayan natin.”

“Ospital talaga ng takbuhan ngayon lalong-lalo na po ang Quirino
Memorial Medical Center, ‘yan po ang isa sa mga takbuhan ng ating mga
kababayan sa panahon ng COVID, salamat po sa inyong sakripisyo,” he
added.

As the Senator prioritizes the health and well-being of Filipinos, he
then encouraged residents to take part in the vaccination program
against COVID-19 as this would greatly help the medical frontliners;
at the same, he mentioned that getting vaccinated will significantly
contribute to the country’s return to normalcy.

He then reiterated his appeal to the government to look into the
possibility of extending the vaccine roll-out to the general public to
ensure population protection and herd immunity eventually.

“Importante po na nababalanse natin sa pagbabakuna. Napatunayan naman
po sa datos ‘pag ikaw ay bakunado mas maiiwasan po ‘yung pagka-severe
o pagkamatay,” Go said.

“Hindi po basta-basta makakuha ng bakuna sa ngayon, napakahirap po.
Kaya importante huwag po nating sayangin. Kung ano ‘yung bakunang nasa
harapan ninyo magpabakuna na ho kayo para protektado po kayo,” Go
appealed.

After the event, Go’s team gave essentials such as grocery packs,
meals, masks, face shields, and vitamins to 359 patients and 1,928
medical frontliners. Meanwhile, representatives from the Department of
Social Welfare and Development gave financial assistance to the
patients and 878 rank-and-file hospital employees.

Go also gave computer tablets, bicycles, and new pairs of shoes to
select recipients.

Senator Go then thanked Representative Allan Benedict Reyes, Mayor
Maria Josefina Tanya “Joy” Belmonte, Office of the President Assistant
Secretary Girlie Veloso, Office of the Presidential Assistant for the
Visayas Secretary Michael Lloyd Dino, Dr. Evelyn Victoria Reside, and
other local officials for ensuring their constituents get necessary
support during these trying times.

“Pakiusap lang, magtulungan lang tayo, magbayanihan po tayo, at
magmalasakit tayo sa ating kapwa Pilipino. Kami naman po ni Pangulong
Duterte ay hindi po kami titigil sa pagseserbisyo upang malampasan
natin itong krisis na ito,” he ended. (ai/mtvn)

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