OFW Hospital — a fulfillment of PRRD’s commitment to improve healthcare, promote the welfare of migrant workers, says Go

OFW Hospital — a fulfillment of PRRD’s commitment to improve healthcare, promote the welfare of migrant workers, says Go

By Ernie Reyes

MANILA — Senator Christopher “Bong” Go said that the establishment of the Overseas Filipino Workers Hospital in San Fernando City, Pampanga demonstrates the government’s commitment to improving the country’s healthcare system and promoting the welfare of Filipino migrant workers and their families

The hospital, which is the first of its kind in the country, opened as a polyclinic for OFWs and their dependents on May 2, with full operations expected to start by the end of next month.

“Masakit makitang iniiwan ng mga kababayan natin ang mga pamilya at mahal nila sa buhay upang makapagtrabaho lamang sa mga malalayong lugar. Sa tulong ng OFW Hospital, masusuklian man lang natin ang kanilang sakripisyo sa pamamagitan ng mas maayos na serbisyo para sa kanila at kanilang mga pamilya,” said Go, who is also chair of the Senate Committee on Health.

“Paraan din natin ito upang mapasalamatan sila sa kanilang kontribusyon sa ating bansa, lalo na ngayong may pandemya,” he added.

Apart from supporting OFW welfare, the senator stated that the OFW Hospital is in line with the government’s initiatives to improve, capacitate, and construct more health facilities across the country.

“Dapat patuloy nating palakasin ang ating healthcare capacity, magdagdag ng mga kama, magtatag ng mga dagdag na ospital at palakasin ang serbisyo na maaaring maibigay ng ating healthcare system,” he said.

On Labor Day, May 1, Go joined President Rodrigo Duterte in the inspection of the Overseas Filipino Workers Hospital in San Fernando City, Pampanga. They were also joined by other officials, including former president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea, and Department of Health (DOH) Secretary Francisco Duque III.

The senator also led the groundbreaking ceremony of the hospital on February 18 last year.

Apart from medical care, the facility will carry out research on the prevention, care and treatment of occupational diseases that are common among OFWs as well as provision of specialized training for health workers on the implementation of OFW-specific occupational health services.

Meanwhile, Go said that he is coordinating with the Department of Health and other concerned agencies to study the possibility of establishing a Malasakit Center in the hospital. The Malasakit Centers Act was likewise primarily authored and sponsored by Go and was signed into law in December 2019. It establishes a one-stop-shop in all hospitals run by the Department of Health, where poor and indigent patients can conveniently avail of medical assistance from the government.

To date, there are 151 Malasakit Centers that have helped over three million Filipinos and are fully operating in various parts of the country.

“I am glad that we are taking the right steps to improve our healthcare system so that we can be better prepared for any future public health emergencies that may come. Basta kapakanan ng mahihirap at nangangailangan, ipaglalaban ko po kayo,” said Go. (ai/mtvn)

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