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Press Release - Bong Go highlights Malasakit Centers as one-stop shops for medical assistance; gives relief to indigents in Dipolog City, Zamboanga del Norte

Acknowledging the economic challenges to one's health and well-being, Chair of the Senate Committee on Health and Demography Senator Christopher "Bong" Go highlighted the existence of 165 Malasakit Centers nationwide to help the poor conveniently avail of medical assistance from government.

In a video message on Friday, June 7, during a distribution event in Dipolog City, Zamboanga del Norte, Senator Go encouraged those with health concerns to overcome their hesitancy and utilize the services of the Malasakit Centers at the Zamboanga del Norte Medical Center in the city and Jose Rizal Memorial Hospital in Dapitan City.

Go reaffirmed that the Malasakit Center provides convenient access to the government's medical assistance programs by bringing together relevant agencies, including the Department of Social Welfare and Development, the Department of Health, the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation, and the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office. This collaboration efficiently assists patients and helps reduce their hospital expenses.

"Kami ay nandidito lang handang magserbisyo sa abot ng aming makakaya, bisyo ko po ang magserbisyo. Huwag po kayong mag-atubiling lumapit sa amin kung may maitutulong kami sa inyo," reassured Go, who is also referred to as Mr. Malasakit.

Initiated by Go in 2018, the Malasakit Centers program was institutionalized under Republic Act No. 11463 or the Malasakit Centers Act of 2019, which he principally authored and sponsored in the Senate.

According to the DOH, the Malasakit Centers nationwide have helped around ten million indigent Filipinos.

"Ang Malasakit center po ay handa pong tumulong sa inyo. Tutulong po yan na pababain ang inyong hospital billing, yan po ang isinulong ko noon na naisabatas na ngayon -- ang Malasakit Center," Go explained.

"Bakit natin pahirapan ang Pilipino? Sa totoo lang po pera ninyo yan dapat po ibalik sa inyo sa pamamagitan ng mabilis at maayos na tulong pangkalusugan ang pera dahil inyo po yan. Para po yan sa poor and indigent patients," he cited.

The relief operation was organized to help 500 indigent residents in coordination with Mayor Darel Uy and was conducted at the Barangay Olingan gymnasium, where