MUNTINLUPA CITY—The Department of Health-Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (DOH-RITM) inaugurated the 100th Malasakit Center earlier today, 02 February 2021. The ceremonies coincided with the third anniversary of the Malasakit Center Program since its first unveiling at the Vicente Sotto Medical Center in Cebu City.
Malasakit Center is a program of the government that aims to serve as a one-stop hub for requesting assistance that will hasten the delivery of medical services and give indigent patients access to free medicines and medical intervention.
With the Malasakit Center in place at the Institute, patients of RITM and the residents of Muntinlupa City can easily reach out to the services of the Department of Health (DOH), the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO), and the Philippine Health Insurance Incorporated (PhilHealth).
“We, at RITM, uphold our mission to serve Filipinos, most especially our underprivileged and indigent brothers and sisters. This Malasakit Center ensures that more people have access to appropriate and quality health care and medical interventions when they need it, and at an affordable cost,” said RITM Director Celia Carlos in her welcome address.
Senator Chistopher Lawrence “Bong” Go, primary author of the Malasakit Center Act of 2019, graced the event with affirmation that the initiative intends to improve patient accessibility to public health services. “Kapag meron kayong bill sa ospital, lapitan niyo po ang Malasakit Center, tutulungan kayo ng PhilHealth, PCSO, DOH, at DSWD. Kung may balanse pa kayo ay babayaran ng pondong iniwan dito. Wala na pong babayaran ang mga pasyente,” he said.
The center aims to provide “zero balance” for qualified beneficiaries.
DOH Secretary Francisco Duque III called for unity and continuous effort to achieve universal healthcare. “Iminulat sa atin ng pandemyang COVID-19 ang halaga ng isang healthcare system na bukas at abot-kaya para sa lahat ng Pilipino, nang walang pagkiling sa katayuan sa buhay. Nawa’y magpatuloy tayo sa ating nagkakaisang kilos upang maisakatuparan ang lahat ng pangako sa ilalim ng Universal Healthcare Law. We need to unite under the banner of Universal Healthcare to finally realize the goal of a Philippines where quality healthcare is afforded to all.”
Key partners of the Malasakit Program also graced the event including Office of the Presidential Assistant for the Visayas Secretary Michael Lloyd Dino, DSWD Secretary Rolando Joselito Bautista, PhilHealth Acting Senior Vice President of Health Finance Policy Sector Dr. Leo Douglas Cardona Jr.; and PCSO General Manager Royina Marzan Garma.