By Minka Klaudia Tiangco
The 40th Malasakit Center in the country was inaugurated at the newly-opened third floor of the Valenzuela City Emergency Hospital along G. Lazaro Street on Friday.
The inauguration was led by Senator Bong Go, Health Secretary Francisco Duque, Valenzuela City Mayor Rex Gatchalian, and Valenzuela District 1 Rep. Wes Gatchalian.
The Malasakit Center is a one-stop shop where indigent patients can transact with desk representatives from various organizations such as the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), the Philippine Health Insurance Company (Philhealth), the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO), and the Department of Health (DOH) without leaving the hospital.
Every month, the hospital will receive a fund of P5 million to pay for patients’ hospital bills.
“It is easy to establish and extend a hospital, but our biggest problem is still how the patients can pay their hospital bills,” said Mayor Gatchalian in Filipino. “Now, it will be easier and more accessible for Valenzuela City residents to pay for their hospital expenses when they get sick.”
Go said the Malasakit Centers will complement the landmark Universal Health Care Law which was signed by President Duterte on February.
The neophyte senator and chairman of the Senate health committee also vowed to focus on the health concerns of every Filipino.
Meanwhile, Duque commended Go for his “dynamism and creativity” in establishing the Malasakit Centers.
“We are confident that the law signed by President Duterte will be felt by each Filipino because of the increasing number of Malasakit Centers, which will provide funding for their hospital expenses,” he said in Filipino.
Aside from the Malasakit Center, the third floor of the Valenzuela City Emergency Hospital will have additional wards for patients, an OB-GYN, an animal bite clinic, among other facilities.