‘One-stop shop’ for indigent, financially incapacitated patients

Availability of medical and financial assistance became more convenient with the establishment of Malasakit Centers nationwide.  

Now on its sixth year, it has become a symbol of a government that cares for its people by serving as a one-stop shop where indigent and financially incapacitated patients can avail of medical and financial assistance from the Department of Health (DOH), Philippine Health Insurance Corporation, Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office, and the Department of Social Welfare and Development.

DOH Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire disclosed that since the opening of the first Malasakit Center at the Philippine General Hospital in Manila last February 2018, about 4.5 million poor families have already benefited from the program. 

With its institutionalization under Republic Act 11463, hundreds of Malasakit Centers were established in public hospitals across the archipelago. 

The 161st opened at the newly-built Joni Villanueva General Hospital in Bocaue. This is the fourth such facility in the province of Bulacan after Bulacan Medical Center in the city Malolos, Rogaciano M. Mercado Memorial Hospital in Santa Maria town, and Ospital ng Lungsod ng San Jose Del Monte.

Provincial Social Welfare and Development Officer Rowena Tiongson said there are only two requirements to avail the aid provided by the agencies at Malasakit Center namely advance billing statement and certificate of indigency. 

“As of 2022, the first two Malasakit Centers in Malolos and Santa Maria had already provided about P230 million worth of medical and financial assistance to thousands Bulacan residents,” Tiongson disclosed.

Malasakit Centers provide a breathing room for indigent and financially incapacitated patients and their families. Rather than take the burden of overthinking about their hospital bills, they can focus their minds on healing and making their body more healthy. (CLJD/SFV-PIA 3)

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