158th Malasakit Center opens in Pampanga
The 89th of its kind in Luzon and the 15th in Region III, the launch of the Malasakit Center will bring essential medical assistance and support to the local community.
Senator Christopher “Bong” Go, the primary advocate and sponsor of the Malasakit Centers Act of 2019, emphasized the vital role of these centers in delivering crucial medical aid to the Filipino population. As the Chair of the Senate Committee on Health, Go prioritizes health-related advocacies and continually supports the establishment of Malasakit Centers.
“Why should we make our fellow Filipinos suffer? It is your money, and it should be returned to you through fast service. That is what the Malasakit Center is all about,” Go said.
The concept of Malasakit Centers originated from Go’s personal experiences during his visits to hospitals across the country. Witnessing the difficulties faced by patients, especially those from underprivileged backgrounds, in covering their medical expenses, he recognized the urgent need for a streamlined system of providing medical assistance.
Since the opening of the first Malasakit Center in Cebu City in 2018, the number of centers has grown to 158 nationwide, benefiting over seven million individuals, according to the Department of Health.
Each Malasakit Center serves as a one-stop shop for medical assistance, housing various government agencies such as the DOH, Department of Social Welfare and Development, Philippine Health Insurance Corporation, and Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office.
The Malasakit Centers Act of 2019, officially known as Republic Act No. 11463, was signed into law by former President Rodrigo Duterte to institutionalize the program.
In Pampanga, other Malasakit Centers are located at Jose B. Lingad Memorial Regional Hospital and Overseas Filipino Workers Hospital and Diagnostic Center in San Fernando City, as well as Rafael Lazatin Memorial Medical Center in Angeles City.
Apart from the Malasakit Centers, Senator Go has been advocating for the establishment of Super Health Centers nationwide, particularly in remote communities.
These centers aim to provide essential health services such as database management, outpatient care, birthing facilities, isolation units, diagnostic services (laboratory, X-ray, ultrasound), pharmacies, and ambulatory surgical units.
Other services available include eye, ear, nose, and throat (EENT) care, oncology centers, physical therapy and rehabilitation centers, and telemedicine, which enables remote diagnosis and treatment of patients.
With the collective efforts of fellow lawmakers, sufficient funds have been allocated for the construction of 307 Super Health Centers in 2022 and 322 in 2023. The Department of Health, as the lead implementing agency, identifies strategic areas for their establishment.
“I am fully supportive of the Malasakit Center, Super Health Center, and other initiatives that will help our health sector,” Senator Go expressed.rvices closer to our fellow countrymen, especially those who are less fortunate.”
On January 26, Senator Go was honored by the provincial government of Pampanga through Resolution No. 7643-A for his efforts in advancing the province’s well-being and interests.