Higher salaries of doctors, nurses needed for improvement of health care program, says Bong Go

Aspiring senator Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go on Sunday said the country cannot improve its health care program for the poor if the government will not work to increase the benefits of Filipino nurses and doctors.

Go, in a media interview at the sidelines of the PDP-Laban campaign sortie in Cebu, vowed to look for a way to increase the salaries of nurses and doctors.

He said the deplorable state of the health care personnel in the country is the reason they go abroad to look for greener pastures.

He said he believes the government has enough budget to improve its health care program for the people.

“May pera naman tayo. Gamitin lang natin sa tama (We have money. Let’s use them wisely),” Go said.

He also vowed to look into government hospitals that are still lacking in beds for patients.

Go cited the recently signed Universal Health Care (UHC) law as an indicator that the government is capable of giving back to the people the taxes they have contributed to the state by way of improving health care facilities.

The UHC law ensures that people’s health is fully attended to by government health care facilities from barangay health centers, city, municipal and provincial hospitals, up to Department of Health (DOH)-managed regional medical centers.

It also provides for mandatory enrollment of all the Filipinos to the Philippine Health Insurance Company (PhilHealth).

In his campaign speech here, the senatorial candidate from Davao vowed to sponsor a legislative measure that will make Malasakit Center a permanent service facility in all hospitals in order to give poor patients an easy way of processing financial assistance.

The center simplifies processing of medical assistance. “Di na mo moadto og laing opisina. Naa natanan diha sa Malasakit Center (You will no longer go to other offices. You can find all of the offices inside the Malasakit Center),” Go said.

In the past, processing of patient’s financial assistance from different agencies would take about a week in order to pay for the bill, he said.

“Sa una moduol mo diha, kay naa moy bill PHP67,000. Lunes moduol mo kang governor, hatagan ra mo’g PHP10,000. Martes moadto mo’g DOH, Miyerkules DSWD, Huwebes sa PCSO, ug PhilHealth sa Biernes. Hurot inyong panahon, hurot inyong plete (Before, if you have a bill for PHP67,000. In a Monday you will go to the governor who would give you PHP10,000. By Tuesday, you will go to the Department of Health, Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) by Thursday, and PhilHealth by Friday. You spend out all your time and money),” he said.

In the Malasakit Center in DOH-run hospitals, help desks from DSWD, PhilHealth, and Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) entertain processing of financial assistance, he said.

Malasakit Center pays the balance after assistance from the agencies are listed to answer for the patient’s bill.

The Duterte administration has so far opened 24 Malasakit Centers in different parts of the country.

Go said more Malasakit Centers will be opened soon. (By John Rey Saavedra, PNA)

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