Senator Christopher “Bong” Go commended the government’s continuing efforts to address the barriers to health and medical care that indigent patients face amid an ongoing pandemic.
On his birthday, Go personally attended the launch of the country’s 119th Malasakit Center at the National Children’s Hospital in Quezon City on Monday.
The NCH, a leading provider of pediatric care, is the 24th hospital in Metro Manila and ninth in Quezon City to open a Malasakit Center. Other hospitals include the East Avenue Medical Center, Lung Center of the Philippines, Novaliches District Hospital, Philippine Children’s Medical Center, Philippine Heart Center, National Kidney and Transplant Institute, Philippine Orthopedic Center, and Veterans Memorial Medical Center.
In his remarks delivered during the ceremony, Go reiterated his commitment to push for measures to improve access to quality health care nationwide. He acknowledged that the need to protect Filipinos from COVID-19 has made it challenging for many individuals to access vital health services and even harder for providers to deliver critical care at this time.
“Bilang inyong Chair ng Senate Committee on Health, patuloy kong ipaglalaban ang mga batas na mag-iimprove sa ating mga lokal na ospital. Hindi ako titigil dahil alam ko ang sitwasyon sa baba at alam ko ang makikinabang dito ay ‘yung mga mahihirap,” began Go.
“Wala pang COVID, umaabot na ng 400 percent ang mga occupancy rate. Ngayon na may pandemya, mas kailangan pa natin mag-invest sa ating health care system para matugunan ang mga pangangailangang medikal ng mga Pilipino,” he continued.
To address the pervasive disparities in health care access, the Senator principally authored and sponsored the measure that became Republic Act No. 11463 or the Malasakit Centers Act of 2019.
The center brings together the various government agencies which offer medical assistance for poor and indigent patients. These agencies include the Department of Health, Department of Social Welfare and Development, Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office, and Philippine Health Insurance Corporation.
“Nakakatuwa marinig na wala daw lumalabas sa ospital na ito na hindi masaya. Pakiusap, huwag niyo pababayaan ang mga bata at pamilya natin na walang matakbuhan sa panahon ngayon,” said Go.
”Palaging sinasabi ni Pangulo [Rodrigo] Duterte na kung anong pera mayro’n ang gobyerno, ibalik natin ‘yan sa tao dahil pera naman nila ‘yan,” he added.
After the launching of the Malasakit Center, the Senator was personally greeted on his birthday by the young cancer patients and their family members at the Oncology Unit. He vowed to extend any necessary support and proceeded to give each one a present to encourage them on their journey towards healing and recovery.
“Sana, ang wish ko lang sa inyo ay humaba pa ang inyong mga buhay. Tutulungan namin kayo ni Pangulong Duterte. Maraming salamat,” Go said to the young patients.