Lolypop wants Malasakit Center institutionalized
CEBU, Philippines — Cebu Sixth District Representative Emmarie Lolypop Ouano Dizon has filed a bill institutionalizing Malasakit Center, a one-stop shop for government medical assistance designed to help the indigent Filipinos.
The bill entitled “An Act Institutionalizing Malasakit Centers in all Accredited Public Hospitals All Over the Philippines.”
The bill, which is also known as the Malasakit Center Act, implements President Rodrigo Duterte’s mandate whereby indigent patients do not have to go to different agencies to ask for help paying their hospital bills.
The center, an initiative of both Duterte and Senator Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go, is a one-stop shop program wherein the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office, Department of Social Welfare and Development, Philippine Health Insurance Corp., Department of Health and other government office are housed in one location to ease the process for patients in need of medical and financial assistance.
If passed into law, the Malasakit Center Act will support the expansion of the Malasakit Center, which as of March 2019 has served more than 100,000 patients with medical financial assistance worth P300 million every month.
In a press statement, Ouano-Dizon said the proposed bill is one of her priority measures after learning from 2019 Philippine Wellness Index that 40 percent of Filipinos are uncertain whether they can afford to pay their medical bills.
In the same study, she said, 37 percent of Filipinos had to use their savings, while 25 percent had to seek the help of relatives to pay their medical bills.
On top of these realities, Ouano-Dizon said, indigent patients do not only find themselves going to different government agencies, but also being subjected to complex and at all times confusing process of seeking help to pay their medical bills. (FREEMAN)