Malasakit Center in Bacolod City to get P5-M monthly aid
BACOLOD CITY (Philippines News Agency) — Special Assistant to the President Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go turned over an initial PHP5-million assistance to the Corazon Locsin Montelibano Memorial Regional Hospital (CLMMRH) to kick off the operation of the Malasakit Center in this city.
Go, who led the inauguration of the one-stop shop for government health care assistance on Sunday afternoon, said the Malasakit Center aims to fast-track and make hospital services more accessible to indigent patients, including senior citizens and persons with disabilities.
“This is a shortcut to all the services that can be availed of by Filipinos. This is yours, we are just giving this back to you,” he said.
Go said the PHP5-million assistance from the Office of the President is replenishable.
“Once it is used up, the hospital just needs to liquidate the expenses and we will add more funds,” he added.
Dr. Julius Drilon, chief of CLMMRH, said the financial assistance for patients to be provided by the national government through the Malasakit Center will be a big help to the hospital operations.
“They (Office of the President) are giving us PHP5 million a month. That’s about PHP60 million a year,” he said.
Drilon said the establishment of the Malasakit Center came at the right time, when the CLMMRH needs more funding to meet the “No Balance Billing” expenses.
“It’s the right timing. At least, the national government listened to our appeal in the Department of Health (DOH). This is not only happening to us but all over the Philippines. We are overloaded (with patients),” he said.
The Malasakit Center is an initiative of the Office of the Special Assistant to the President (OSAP) in cooperation with the DOH, DOH-retained hospitals, Philippine Health Insurance Corp., Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office, Department of Social Welfare and Development, and Office of the Presidential Assistant for the Visayas.
The providing agencies are brought together inside the DOH-retained hospitals, in this case, the CLMMRH, to facilitate the process for patients to avail of government financial assistance by simplifying the procedures of application for services and by implementing a single standard form.
The opening of the Malasakit Center at the CLMMRH, which is the second to be established in Western Visayas, was also attended by Presidential Assistant for the Visayas Michael Lloyd Dino, Bacolod City Lone District Rep. Greg Gasataya, Mayor Evelio Leonardia, DSWD-Western Visayas Director Rebecca Geamala, Silay City Mayor Mark Golez, and Don Salvador Benedicto Mayor Laurence Marxlen dela Cruz.
In Region 6, the first Malasakit Center opened at the Western Visayas Medical Center in Iloilo City last June.
In Negros Oriental, a Malasakit Center will also be established soon in Dumaguete City, Go said. (PNA)