Chair of the Senate Committee on Health and Demography, Senator Christopher “Bong” Go, reaffirmed his unwavering dedication to strengthening the healthcare sector as he personally visited the Butuan City Super Health Center in Agusan del Norte on Tuesday, June 6.

Currently nearing its completion at 80%, the facility aims to offer a range of medical services to the local community.

The center will provide essential health services such as database management, outpatient care, birthing facilities, isolation units, and a fully equipped diagnostic wing offering services such as laboratory tests, X-rays, ultrasounds, and pharmacy services.

Additionally, the center will house an ambulatory surgical unit, ensuring the provision of efficient and convenient basic surgical procedures.

The Butuan City Super Health Center will also feature specialized departments to cater to specific medical needs.

These include an eye, ear, nose, and throat (EENT) service, which will address a wide range of ENT-related issues, and oncology centers that will provide specialized care for cancer patients. Furthermore, the facility will house a dedicated physical therapy and rehabilitation center to aid patients in their recovery and facilitate their return to optimal health.

Keeping up with the advancements in technology, the center will likewise incorporate telemedicine services, enabling patients to access medical consultations remotely and receive expert guidance without the need for physical visits.

“Patuloy po akong tutulong sa pagpaparami ng Super Health Centers sa bansa sa abot po ng aking makakaya. Sa mga itinayo na Super Health Centers, nakita namin kung gaano kalaki ang naitutulong nito sa komunidad lalo na sa rural areas. ‘Yun po ang layunin ng mga Super Health Centers, ang ilapit sa mamamayan ang serbisyong medikal ng gobyerno,” underscored Go.

Go expressed that this will greatly improve access to quality healthcare for the local community. He emphasized the importance of these health centers in delivering essential health services to Filipinos, especially those in rural areas with limited access to hospitals.

“Ang Super Health Center po is a medium type of a polyclinic, at ang ikinaganda po nito ay itu-turn over na po ito sa local government units at pwede n’yong palakihin at iimprove pa base sa pangangailangan ng inyong komunidad,” he explained.

Go subsequently applauded the efforts of the Department of Health, as well as local officials, for their dedication to ensuring that their constituents have enhanced access to government health services.

Through the collective efforts of fellow lawmakers, sufficient funds had been allocated for 307 Super Health Centers in 2022 and 322 in 2023. DOH, the lead implementing agency, identifies the strategic areas where they will be constructed.

In Agusan del Norte, necessary funds have been allocated by Congress for the construction of other Super Health Centers in Cabadbaran, Las Nieves, and Santiago, aside from the one in Butuan City.

Following the inspection, the senator and his team also distributed grocery packs, snacks, vitamins, and masks at a total of 2,000 residents at the Philippine Science High School in Barangay Tiniwisan, Butuan City. The senator also gave away shirts, shoes, watches, mobile phones, bicycles, and balls for basketball and volleyball to select recipients.

In addition, personnel from the Department of Social Welfare and Development extended financial support to beneficiaries through its Assistance to Individuals in Crisis Situation program.

Go offered additional support to the residents in need of medical care. He advised them to seek the services of the Malasakit Center at the Butuan Medical Center where they may conveniently avail of medical assistance from the government.

The Malasakit Center aims to make all existing government medical assistance programs more accessible by bringing the concerned agencies under one roof, including the DSWD, DOH, Philippine Health Insurance Corporation, and Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office.

Its primary task is to reduce a hospital bill to the lowest amount possible by covering patient services and expenses, pursuant to the Malasakit Centers Act of 2019, which Go primarily authored and sponsored in the Senate.

”Sa mga pasyente dito, kung may bill kayo, ilapit niyo lang ito sa Malasakit Center at tutulungan kayo nito makahingi ng tulong sa mga ahensya ng gobyerno. Hindi niyo na kailangang bumiyahe para pumila sa iba’t ibang opisina. Wala itong pinipili. Basta poor at indigent patient ka, qualified ka,” said Go.
There are now 157 functional centers nationwide which have assisted over seven million Filipinos, according to the DOH.