Senator Bong Go, head of the Senate Committee on Health and Demography, continues to support the government’s efforts to improve healthcare access for all Filipinos as he attended the groundbreaking ceremony for another Super Health Center in Samal, Bataan recently.
During his speech, Go acknowledged that there is a continuing need for accessible healthcare facilities and highlighted that Super Health Centers aim to bridge the gap between the government’s health services and the people, ensuring that every Filipino has access to affordable and quality medical care.
Super Health Centers are anticipated to complement existing healthcare facilities, helping to relieve the strain on overcrowded hospitals and clinics, particularly in rural areas.
“Malaking tulong po itong mga Super Health Center.”
“Malaking tulong po itong mga Super Health Center. Napansin ko po sa kakaikot ko sa buong Pilipinas, napakarami pong munisipyo, (mga) 4th class, 5th, 6th class municipalities na walang kakayahang magpatayo ng sariling health center. Ngayon po mayroon na silang Super Health Center at itu-turn over po ito sa LGU,” the legislator said.
“Sa tulong ng mga kasamahan ko sa Kongreso, LGUs, at DOH, naisakatuparan po itong Super Health Center para ilapit po natin ang serbisyo medikal sa ating mga kababayan. Buntis, pwede na pong manganak dito. Hindi na po nila kailangang mag-byahe pa sa napakalayong mga ospital. Minsan nanganganak na lang po sa tricycle, sa jeepney, ang mga buntis dahil malayo ang ospital. And it will help decongest the hospital po. Dahil ‘pag buntis pwede na po dito, hindi na kailangang pumunta pa sa mga ospital,” the lawmaker explained.
The groundbreaking ceremony was attended by local government officials, including Bataan Governor Joet Garcia, Representative Geraldine Roman, Samal Mayor Alex Acuzar and Vice Mayor Ronnie Ortiguerra, and Board Member Tony Roman, among others.
The Super Health Center is set to provide basic healthcare services, including database management, out-patient, birthing, isolation, diagnostic (laboratory: x-ray and ultrasound), pharmacy and ambulatory surgical unit. Other available services are eye, ear, nose, and throat (EENT) service, oncology centers, physical therapy and rehabilitation center and telemedicine, where remote diagnosis and treatment of patients will be done.
Through the collective efforts of fellow lawmakers, sufficient funds had been allocated for 307 Super Health Centers in 2022 and 322 in 2023. The Department of Health, the lead implementing agency, identifies the strategic areas where they will be constructed.
In line with the government’s efforts to alleviate the burden of Filipinos traveling long distances and high expenses for medical treatment, the senator mentioned that DOH has identified other areas to establish more Super Health Centers in Bataan, including Dinalupihan, Mariveles, Bagac, Hermosa, Morong, and Orani.
He also echoed President Ferdinand Marcos, Jr.’s priority of having Specialty Centers nationwide.
Go stressed that the presence of specialty centers in the country is of paramount importance to ensure specialized healthcare services for Filipinos.
Recently passed at the third and final reading, Senate Bill No. 2212, also known as the Regional Specialty Centers Act, mandates the DOH to establish regional specialty centers in DOH hospitals in every region within five years. This approach leverages the expertise and availability of healthcare professionals already working in these regional hospitals.
“Ang Regional Specialty Center po ay paglalagay o pagtatatag ng mga specialty center sa iba’t ibang DOH regional hospital.”
“Unanimously approved na po ito ng Senado. At na-ratified na po itong Senate Bill 2212. At adopted na po ang ating bicam report. So kulang na lang po ay pirma ni Pangulong Bongbong Marcos. Ang Regional Specialty Center po ay paglalagay o pagtatatag ng mga specialty center sa iba’t ibang DOH regional hospital,” noted Go, who is an author and the principal sponsor of the measure.
“Halimbawa, ang Heart Center natin nasa Maynila. ‘Yung mga pasyente kailangan nilang pumunta ng Maynila kung kailangan nilang magpa-angiogram o heart bypass or heart surgery. Ngayon ilalagay po itong mga specialty center, halimbawa sa Zamboanga City. Ang mga taga-Region 9, hindi na sila kailangang lumuwas pa ng Maynila (para) gumastos pa ng pamasahe, maghanap ng kanilang tirahan, dahil magkakaroon na ng specialty center na malapit sa kanila,” he explained.
Go then mentioned that there are Malasakit Centers at Bataan General Hospital and Medical Center in Balanga City and in Mariveles Mental Wellness and General Hospital in Mariveles if the public need medical assistance from the government.
He principally authored and sponsored the Republic Act No. 11463, otherwise known as the Malasakit Centers Act.
After the groundbreaking, Go led a distribution activity for 500 indigent residents at Barangay Tabing Ilog covered court where he and his team provided grocery packs, snacks, vitamins, and masks.
He also gave away shirts, shoes, watches, mobile phones, bicycles, and balls for basketball and volleyball to select recipients.
Meanwhile, a team from the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) provided financial assistance.