Senate approves creation of Malasakit Centers in all public hospitals

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, November 11) — The Senate approved Monday a bill that seeks to create a one-stop shop for medical and financial assistance in all public hospitals.

Voting 18-0, the upper chamber passed Senate Bill 1076 which seeks to establish so-called “Malasakit Centers” in all hospitals of the Health department and the Philippine General Hospital.

The bill aims to consolidate assistance provided by the Health and Social Welfare departments and the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office under one roof so patients would no longer need to endure long lines to get aid, Senator Christopher “Bong” Go said.

Aside from being a one-stop shop for poor patients, the Malasakit Center will also provide patient navigation and referral in accessing hospital services, as well as provide information regarding state health insurance membership, coverage and benefit packages.

A similar measure cleared the committee level at the House in September.

Malasakit Centers are pet projects of Go, who has been accused of using these facilities to bolster his public image for the 2019 senatorial elections. Go, however, insisted the centers help poor patients.