BARMM's social welfare ministry secures free medical assistance for indigent patients

Published June 22, 2021, 10:48 AM

by Zea Capistrano

DAVAO CITY – In a bid to provide free hospitalization assistance to more indigent patients, the Ministry of Social Services and Development (MSSD) of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) signed agreements with the Cotabato Sanitarium Hospital in Brgy. Pinaring, Sultan Kudarat and the Maguindanao Provincial Hospital in Brgy. Limpongo, Datu Hoffer, Maguindanao.

In a statement on Monday (June 21), the MSSD said the agreements were signed last June 17 and 18 by MSSD Minister Atty. Raissa Jajurie and Maguindanao Integrated Provincial Health Office (IPHO) Chief Dr. Elizabeth Samama, and Cotabato Sanitarium Hospital Chief Dr. Ibrahim V. Pangato Jr.

The MOAs provide for the turn-over of P2 million funds to each hospital for the hospitalization expenses of indigent patients. The said assistance cover the payment for medicines, medical treatments, or procedures such as laboratory fees, CT scan, dialysis, MRIs, anti-retroviral therapy, and chemotherapy.

“This social intervention is under MSSD’s Bangsamoro Critical Assistance for Indigents in Response to Emergency Situations (B-CARES) which is one of the new regular social protection programs of the ministry that seeks to provide medical assistance in the form of allocating funds to partner health facilities to cater patients who belong to the indigent, vulnerable, and disadvantaged sectors upon assessment and recommendation of the designated social workers,” the MSSD added.

It said, through the said program, the MSSD will further expand partnerships with other health facilities and pharmacies in the Bangsamoro provinces by “continuously supporting and augmenting additional funding allocation for 2021 and in the years to come.”

It added that the program will ensure that more indigent patients in the region will have access to hospital care.

To avail of the hospitalization assistance, “the client or informant may present the final hospital bill, barangay certificate of indigency, statement of account, promissory note, medical certificate, whole-body pictures of the patient, valid identification cards of the client/informant, and the patient to be submitted and assessed by either the attending MSSD social worker in the regional office or provincial office or the medical social worker assigned in the partner hospital.”

The MSSD also partnered with Community Health Service Cooperative Hospital (COHESCO) in Midsayap, North Cotabato, and Dr. R.A.M Albutra General Hospital in Kabacan, North Cotabato to serve indigent clients who are residents of the BARMM Special Geographic Areas (SGA) or the 63 barangays of North Cotabato under BARMM’s jurisdiction.