Bong Go lauds groundbreaking of Super Health Center in Malay, Aklan, as he emphasizes on need to improve healthcare accessibility in the grassroots

Senator Christopher “Bong” Go, chairperson of the Senate Committee on Health and Demography, conveyed his heartfelt gratitude to the local government of Malay, Aklan, as well as the Department of Health, for the successful groundbreaking ceremony of the town’s Super Health Center on Friday, September 15.

In a video message, Go articulated his optimism that the newly-established health facility will provide efficient and accessible healthcare services to the residents of Malay.

“Patuloy po akong tutulong sa pagpaparami ng Super Health Centers sa bansa sa abot po ng aking makakaya. Sa mga itinayo ng Super Health Centers, nakita namin kung gaano kalaki ang naitutulong nito sa komunidad lalo na sa rural areas,” said Go.

“It is a significant step towards enhanced healthcare services. Yun po ang layunin ng mga Super Health Centers, ang ilapit sa mamamayan ang serbisyong medikal ng gobyerno,” he added.

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

The Super Health Center is an enhanced version of a rural health unit, offering basic health services such as database management, outpatient care, birthing facilities, isolation areas, diagnostic services (including laboratory tests, X-rays, and ultrasounds), pharmacy services, and ambulatory surgical units.

Additionally, these centers provide services such as eye, ear, nose, and throat (EENT) care, oncology centers, physical therapy and rehabilitation centers, and telemedicine, which enables remote diagnosis and treatment of patients.

On the same day as the groundbreaking ceremony in Malay, a similar groundbreaking event was also scheduled for the Super Health Center in New Washington, Aklan. Additional Super Health Centers are planned for Tangalan, Kalibo, Ibajay, Balete, Batan, and Numancia.

Malay Councilor Nat Paredes expressed her gratitude to Go during the event, saying, “Maraming salamat po sa inyong ibinigay na proyekto sa Malay. Mas marami pa po kayong matutulungan dahil sa proyektong ito.”

Similarly, Dr. Athena Magdamit from the Municipal Health Office remarked, “Thank you so much po, napakalaking tulong na ibinigay mo sa bayan ng Malay. Kami pong lahat ay nagpapasalamat sa malaking tulong para sa ating mga kababayan sa mga serbisyong medikal dito sa bayan ng Malay.”

Aklan 2nd District Representative Teodorico Haresco Jr. was also present during the event.

Meanwhile, Go encouraged impoverished Filipinos to visit any of the 159 Malasakit Centers across the country to avail themselves of the government’s medical assistance programs. Specifically, residents can go to the Malasakit Center situated at Dr. Rafael S. Tumbokon Memorial Hospital in Kalibo.

The Malasakit Center serves as a one-stop hub aimed at aiding indigent patients by consolidating all relevant agencies under one roof. These include the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), DOH, Philippine Health Insurance Corporation, and Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office.

“Ano ang qualification sa Malasakit Center? Basta Pilipino ka, poor and indigent patient, ka qualified ka sa Malasakit. Meron na po tayong 158 Malasakit Centers sa buong bansa. Lapitan niyo ang Malasakit Center para ‘yan sa mga Pilipino,” assured Go, who is the principal author and sponsor of RA 11463 or the Malasakit Centers Act of 2019, which institutionalized the Malasakit Centers program.

“Pera po yan ng taumbayan, ibinabalik lang po namin ang serbisyong nararapat po para sa Pilipino. Hindi niyo na po kailangan lumayo dahil andiyan na po ang apat na ahensya na tutulong po sa inyo,” he added.

To date, the centers have helped more than seven million Filipinos nationwide, according to DOH.

Go, vice chairperson of the Senate Committee on Finance, has backed several projects aimed at enhancing public service delivery in the province. Among these projects are the construction of local roads in Makato, installation of streetlights in Tangalan, construction of an evacuation center in Numancia, a two-story building for the Ibajay District Hospital, and the renovation of the Ibajay Municipal Park.

He also supported the building of roads in Balete and Makato, riverbank protection structures along the Tigayon-Kalibo and Minalezo sections of the Kalibo River, and a multi-purpose building for monitoring emerging and re-emerging infectious diseases and another multi-purpose building in Balete. He further backed the refurbishment of the Altavas and Libacao public parks.

Previously, Go had been a strong advocate for the rehabilitation of Boracay Island, which is part of the municipality of Malay in Aklan, during his tenure as Special Assistant to the President. He emphasized the long-lasting benefits of the rehabilitation efforts for the local community and the country as a whole.

“The shoreline is now remarkably cleaner, and the narrow roads have been widened. The local community actively participated in the clean-up drive,” Go noted.