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Senate vows improved access to medical and social services
THE Senate, through its Senate Public Assistance Office (SPAO), will continue to provide medical and social services to the Filipino people, especially indigent patients seeking assistance for their hospitalization and medical needs.
“The Senate will continue to provide assistance to our countrymen in the form of medicines and medical care on top of performing its constitutional mandates,” Senate President Vicente Sotto III said on Wednesday.
“We have strengthened our public assistance office to cater to the growing needs of our people in terms of medical and social services. We want to be with them in the most difficult time in their life. We are glad that we have helped thousands of patients seeking assistance from our office and the various offices of the senators,” Sotto added.
Senate Secretary Atty. Myra Marie D. Villarica said the Senate, through SPAO, was able to provide 36,997 various types of medical assistance in 2021 that alleviated the plight of Filipinos confined or seeking medical care in various public hospitals all over the country.
In pursuit of this goal, Villarica said that the Senate further strengthened its public assistance arm called SPAO or Senate Assistance Public Office that is tasked to provide medical and social services to the people and serves as conduit between constituents and other appropriate government agencies.
Villarica said of the 36,997 various forms of medical assistance provided by the Senate SPAO in 2021, 11,514 went to patients in the National Kidney and Transplant Institute; 11,376 in the Philippine Heart Center; 2,103 in the Philippine Children’s Medical Center; 1,831 in the East Avenue Medical Center; and 1,569 in the Lung Center of the Philippines, among others.
Even during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, Villarica added that the Senate assisted Filipinos needing medical attention and opened online applications for medical assistance. In 2020, the Senate provided 21,755 various forms of medical assistance.
Villarica said that individuals who wish to avail of the medical assistance program of the Senate are issued a guarantee letter through the Department of Health.
Some of the patients assisted by SPAO, Villarica noted, are in the late stages of cancer and chronic kidney disease.
“The instruction of Senate President Sotto is clear: alleviate the sufferings of our countrymen by providing medical assistance especially to indigent patients in the most efficient manner,” Villarica said.
The Senate’s medical assistance program is primarily available in all 70 DOH hospitals all over the country.