THE 100th Malasakit Center in the country opened at the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine in Muntinlupa City on Tuesday, Feb. 2, 2021.
The Malasakit Center is a one-stop shop for government, medical, and financial assistance for all Filipinos, particularly the poor and indigent patients.
In Cebu, there are five Malasakit Centers:
1. Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center in Cebu City
2. Eversley Childs Sanitarium and General Hospital in Mandaue City
3. Talisay City District Hospital
4. St. Mother and Child Hospital in Cebu City
5. Lapu-Lapu City Hospital
Malasakit Centers house representatives from different government agencies to make it more convenient and accessible for Filipinos seeking medical and financial assistance from the government.
Some of these agencies include:
· Department of Health (DOH)
· Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD)
· Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (Philhealth)
· Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO)
· Local government units (LGUs), non-government organizations, and private institutions and individuals with medical and financial assistance programs
The initiative also aims to bring down to lowest amount possible, if not zero-balance, the hospital bill, including out-of-pocket expenditures, of particularly poor and indigent Filipinos.
It is an initiative of the Office of the President through then Special Assistant to the President and now Senator Christopher Lawrence ‘Bong’ Go in 2017.
To ensure its continuity even after his term, President Rodrigo Duterte signed Republic Act No. 11463 or the Malasakit Center Act of 2019 authored by Senator Go, on Dec. 2, 2019.
Under the law, hospitals run by LGUs and other public hospitals may set up their Malasakit Centers provided they meet a standard set of criteria. (SunStar Cebu/With PR)