134th Malasakit Center opens in Talavera, N.E.


AS chairman of the Senate Committee on Health and Demography, Senator Christopher T. Go vowed to continue his pursuit for better access to healthcare for all Filipinos while helping government improve public service delivery amid an ongoing health crisis.

Together with concerned agencies, he joined the virtual launch of the country’s 134th Malasakit Center at the Talavera General Hospital in Talavera, Nueva Ecija last August 6.

This is the 12th Malasakit Center in Central Luzon and the third in Nueva Ecija, in addition to those at the Eduardo L. Joson Memorial Hospital and the Doctor Paulino J. Garcia Memorial Research and Medical Center, both in Cabanatuan City, which opened in 2019 and 2020, respectively.

Recounting his experiences working with underprivileged patients in Davao City, Go spoke of the need to address the financial hardships that patients face so they can receive needed medical attention.

Bakit ba natin pinapahirapan ang mga kababayaan natin? Hirap na nga sila at may sakit, pinapahirapan pa. Sa totoo lang, pera naman ng lahat ‘yan. Dapat ibalik ng gobyerno ito sa mga Pilipino sa pamamagitan ng maayos, maaasahan at mabilis na serbisyo,” Go said. [Why do we torture our countrymen? They are already poor and sick. Honestly, that’s their money. The government must give it back to the Filipinos through efficient, reliable and fast service.]

To address this, Go, in his first six months as senator, principally authored and sponsored the bill that became Republic Act 11463, otherwise known as the Malasakit Centers Act of 2019.

The Malasakit Centers Act aims to make medical assistance programs more accessible by putting concerned agencies under one roof.

Hindi niyo na kailangan pumila o umikot pa sa iba’t ibang opisina para humingi ng tulong pampagamot. Nasa isang kwarto sa loob ng ospital na po. Lapitan niyo lang, inyo po iyan. Ang Malasakit Center ay para sa mga poor at indigent patients,” Go said. [You no longer have to line up or go around different offices to seek medical help. It’s in a room inside the hospital. Just come there; that’s yours. The Malasakit Center is for the poor and indigent patients.]

Pakiusap sa hospital management, huwag niyo pababayaan ang mga mahihirap nating kababayan, lalo ‘yung mga helpless, hopeless at walang matakbuhan. Lubusin niyo ang pera ng gobyerno para sa mga mahihirap. At kung may maitutulong ako sa inyong ospital, magsabi lang kayo [I ask the hospital management to not neglect our poor countrymen, especially those who are helpless, hopeless and have nowhere to run. Spend the government’s money for the poor. And if I can help your hospital, just let me know].”

Meanwhile, Go reminded eligible residents to get their Covid-19 vaccines so they will be better protected from the coronavirus.

“It is important that you get vaccinated so that you can avoid severe symptoms of the disease if you become infected. So ‘don’t be afraid of the vaccine. Be afraid of COVID-19 because it is deadly,” he said, partly in Filipino.

“As experts say,] if you’re not protected against COVID-19, the virus will itself find you and infect you,” he added.

Go noted that the Philippines achieved a milestone last August 7 when about 710,482 doses were administered in just one day. This brings the total doses administered in the country to close to 23.2 million, of which more than 10.7 million individuals are already fully vaccinated while almost 12.5 million Filipinos have received their first dose as of August 5.

To help hospital staff overcome the challenges while they continue to fulfill their duties, the senator’s team distributed meals, food packs, vitamins, masks and face shields to a total of 364 medical frontliners as well as 39 indigent patients after the ceremony.

Some medical frontliners were also given shoes while others were provided bicycles. Select hospital workers also received computer tablets to help their children pursue their education.

The Department of Social Welfare and Development additionally handed out financial assistance to patients in need and 175 rank-and-file hospital employees, including janitors and security guards, in a separate distribution.

As Vice Chairman of the Senate Committee on Finance, Go has also supported the funding of numerous infrastructure projects to help boost economic opportunities in Nueva Ecija.

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