IN line with his commitment to improving healthcare accessibility, particularly in underserved communities, Senator Christopher “Bong” Go personally attended the groundbreaking ceremony for a new Super Health Center in Barangay Hulong Duhat, Malabon City on Thursday, November 30.

Go, chairperson of the Senate Committee on Health and Demography, emphasized in his speech the vital role Super Health Centers play in addressing basic health needs at the community level. These centers, designed to provide primary care services, will also offer consultations and enhance the early detection of diseases.

The senator stressed the importance of bringing essential healthcare closer to communities, ensuring that even the most vulnerable have access to basic medical services.

“Pwede na po diyan yung panganganak, dental, laboratory, at x-ray at ang ikinaganda nito diyan na po yung primary care na naaayon sa Universal Health Care. Hindi nyo kailangang pumunta ng mga hospital na malalayo, dito na po. Early disease detection para hindi na po lumala yung sakit at dito na po yung Konsulta Package ng PhilHealth. Magpa-checkup po kayo kapag nandidiyan na yung Super Health Center,” encouraged Go.

The facility will offer a wide range of services, including database management, outpatient, birthing, isolation, diagnostic (laboratory: x-ray and ultrasound), pharmacy, and an ambulatory surgical unit. Additionally, the Super Health Center provides specialized services such as eye, ear, nose, and throat (EENT) service, oncology centers, physical therapy and rehabilitation centers, and telemedicine, allowing for remote diagnosis and treatment of patients.

Through the collective efforts of Go, fellow lawmakers, local government units, and the Department of Health (DOH), sufficient funds have been allocated for 307 Super Health Centers in 2022 and 322 Super Health Centers in 2023. DOH, the lead implementing agency, identifies the strategic areas where the centers will be constructed.

The groundbreaking was also attended by Mayor Jeannie Sandoval, Vice Mayor Bernard “Ninong” Dela Cruz, and former congressman Ricky Sandoval, among others.

“Isang karangalan po ang makasama natin sa araw na ito ang ating minamahal na bisita, Senator Bong Go. Sa bawat pagkakataon, patuloy kayong nagbibigay ng serbisyo at suporta sa aming lungsod, lalo na sa mga proyekto tungkol sa sports at health. Lubos po kaming nagpapasalamat sa walang sawang suporta at tulong sa Malabon City. Inspirasyon po natin ang mga tagumpay ng mga Malasakit Centers ni Senator Go at ito ang pundasyon ng ating Super Health Centers,” Mayor Sandoval expressed.

“Sa bawat serbisyong inyong ibibigay, kayo ang magiging daan upang mas maginhawa, mas maayos ang pamumuhay ng marami. Maraming salamat sa inyo. Ang inyong trabaho ay hindi lamang tungkol sa propesyon, ito ay tungkol sa pagiging tanglaw at pag-asa ng marami,” the mayor added.

Beyond the Super Health Centers, Go reaffirmed his commitment to monitoring the continuing operations of Malasakit Centers nationwide.

This innovative health initiative, started by the senator himself in 2018, focuses on making medical assistance programs easily accessible to indigent patients. The Malasakit Centers are one-stop shops that bring together concerned agencies that offer medical assistance programs. The program was later institutionalized under Republic Act No. 11463, which Go principally authored and sponsored.

“Ang Malasakit Center po ay one-stop shop kung saan po nasa loob po ng hospital ‘yung apat na ahensya ng gobyerno, ‘yung PhilHealth, PCSO, DOH, DSWD na handang tumulong po sa mga kababayan nating mga poor and indigent patients. Lapitan n’yo lang po ang Malasakit Center,” Go said.

According to DOH, the program has already helped around ten million poor Filipinos nationwide. Currently, there are 159 Malasakit Centers nationwide.

Additionally, Go is the principal sponsor and one of the authors of RA 11959, also known as the Regional Specialty Centers Act. This will establish Specialty Centers within DOH regional hospitals. This aims to make specialized care more accessible, reducing the burden on Filipinos who would otherwise have to travel long distances to seek medical attention.

Each center is designated to offer specific specialties, extending services akin to those provided by hospitals in Metro Manila, such as the Heart Center, Lung Center, and the National Kidney and Transplant Institute, to communities in closer proximity.

“Hindi nyo na kailangang magbiyahe. At proud po ako na nakakuha po ako ng boto na 24-0 sa Senado dahil alam natin na makakatulong sa mga mahihirap nating mga kababayan. Iyan po ang Regional Specialty Centers Act na ating isinulong na maisabatas,” said Go.

In the end, Go cited that these initiatives aim not only to address immediate health needs but also to create a sustainable and inclusive healthcare system that prioritizes the well-being of every citizen especially the poor and vulnerable sectors.

“Isa po akong Pilipino na nagmamahal at nagmamalasakit sa ating kapwa Pilipino. Mahal ko po ang ating mga kababayan at ang bisyo ko po ay magserbisyo po sa inyong lahat. Sa abot ng aking makakaya ay magtatrabaho po ako para sa inyo,” Go expressed.

Earlier that day, Go participated in the Bicameral Conference Committee meeting held in Makati City, for House Bill No. 8980, also known as the General Appropriations Bill. Subsequently, in the afternoon, he attended the 48th Annual National Convention and 3E Xpo of the Institute of Integrated Electrical Engineers of the Philippines Incorporated at the SMX Convention Center in Pasay City.

To cap off his day, Go traveled to Pasay City, where he took part in the 2nd National Capital Region Senior Citizen Stakeholders Summit at Midas Hotel.