MANILA – Former Special Assistant to the President, Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go, has vowed to push for the expansion of Malasakit Centers even with the expected passage of the Universal Health Care Act.
In an interview with reporters in Manila, Go said there will be no conflict with his proposal in case the Universal Health Care Act is passed first. “I don’t think magkakaroon ng conflict (with the Universal Health Care Act). Ang akin naman is maisabatas, kahit hindi na po presidente si Pangulong Duterte ay tuloy-tuloy itong programang ito,” he said.
The former presidential aide said the Malasakit Centers aim to integrate government health transactions in one office, which will result in faster processing and convenience for patients. Go, who is gunning for a Senate seat in the 2019 polls, observed that it usually takes five days to avail of government health aid as patients need to process documents in various government offices with distant locations.
He said that with the expansion of Malasakit Centers, it will only take a day for patients to process transactions. “Tulungan po natin ang ating mga pasyente. Ito yung mga panahon na hindi nila alam kung saan sila hihingi ng tulong. Huwag na natin silang ipasa-pasa pa (Let us help our patients. These are the times when they do not know where else to seek help. Let us not pass them around),” Go said.
In his third State of the Nation Address, President Rodrigo Duterte said Go has been “instrumental” in putting up Malasakit Centers, and has been expanding the program nationwide. Go earlier said he would keep on helping the government establish more Malasakit Centers and push to institutionalize it into a law so that every province will have a center in their locality.
Currently existing in 17 cities, a Malasakit Center is a one stop shop situated in government hospitals where patients can avail of financial assistance from the Department of Health, Department of Social Welfare and Development, Philhealth and the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office. (Jun Ledesma)
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