Over 96K indigent patients receive aid through Malasakit Centers —DSWD

Published November 16, 2021, 1:05 AM

by Charissa Luci-Atienza 

More than 96,000 indigent patients have been given medical and financial assistance through the Malasakit Centers, the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) said Monday, Nov. 15.

The 101st Malasakit Center in the country was launched in Ilocos Norte, particularly at the Governor Roque B. Ablan Sr. Memorial Hospital (GRBASMH) on Feb. 11, 2021. (Provincial Government of Ilocos Norte Media Office)

DSWD Secretary Rolando Joselito D. Bautista said the DSWD has disbursed P268.7 million to 96,145 beneficiaries through 148 Malasakit Centers established in hospitals.

“Aabot na po sa mahigit sa 148 Malasakit Centers ang naitatag kung saan mahigit na 96,000 benepisyaryo ang natulungan ng DSWD (About 148 Malasakit Centers have been established where more than 96,000 beneficiaries have been assisted by DSWD),” he reported to President Duterte in a taped briefing aired late Monday.

The Malasakit Center is a one-stop shop where indigent patients and those who are financially incapacitated can avail of financial and medical assistance from the DSWD, the Department of Health (DOH), Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO), and Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth).

“It is a one-stop shop so that those needing help need not proceed to the respective offices of government agencies but may avail of their services simultaneously in one venue and it applies a zero-balance billing system,” the DSWD said.

“For patients staying in a hospital without a Malasakit Center , they may be referred to the nearest hospital where a Malasakit Center is operating.”

Republic Act No. 11463 or the Malasakit Center Act, which was signed into law on Dec. 3, 2019, mandates the establishment of Malasakit Centers in all hospitals run by the DOH to complement the Republic Act 11223 or Universal Health Care Act.

The DSWD said it has deployed one social worker in every Malasakit Center to assess and assist the applicants.

Currently, there are 148 Malasakit Centers all over the country, most of which are located in Luzon.

“With the Malasakit Center, the DSWD, together with other partner-agencies, is able to reach out to more individuals in crisis situation, especially during this pandemic.”