Sen. Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go has urged the public to go to Malasakit Centers for their health concerns as he helped indigents in Laoag City, Ilocos Norte on Sept. 21, 2022.
The senator made the appeal as he acknowledged the challenges of low-income Filipinos in accessing quality health care “as most health services are beyond their financial means.”
Go, chairman of the Senate Committee on Health and Demography, highlighted the services offered by the Malasakit Centers nationwide.
In a video message during a distribution activity in Laoag City on Wednesday, he reminded the Ilocanos to prioritize their health, especially amid the ongoing pandemic.
Go’s team provided masks and snacks to 223 struggling Ilocanos at Laoag City Hall.
Some residents also received bicycles, cellular phones, shoes and balls for basketball.
A team from the Department of Social Welfare and Development extended livelihood assistance to them.
Go urged the beneficiaries to visit any of the two Malasakit Centers in the province.
He said they can go to Governor Roque B. Ablan Sr. Memorial Hospital in Laoag City and Marcos Memorial Hospital and Medical Center in Batac City, should they need medical assistance from the government.
The senator principally authored and sponsored Republic Act 11463 or the “Malasakit Centers Act” as part of his vision to strengthen the country’s health care system.
The law mandates all Department of Health-run hospitals and the Philippine General Hospital to establish their own Malasakit Centers so that poor and indigent patients can conveniently access medical assistance programs offered by the government.
Go said there are already 152 Malasakit Centers nationwide that aim to make hospital billing of poor patients “zero.”