Go assures medical help for poor Filipinos

MANILA Special Assistant to the President (SAP) Christopher Bong Go on Monday assured poor patients that the doors of the Philippine General Hospital (PGH) and the MalacaAang Action Center (MAC) are open should they need medical assistance.

Go made this assurance in an interview over radio DZRH where several callers spoke to him over phone patch and sought for his help as they lamented the costly medical services in the country.

One of the callers, Ricardo Meralita, told Go that his child had leukemia who needed assistance for chemotherapy and other medicines.

May anak po akong may cancer sa dugo, may leukemia po. Ang hinihingi ko po para sa kanya ay tulong pinansiyal po, para may pambili ng gamot (I have a child with cancer in the blood, leukemia. What I'm asking for my child is financial assistance to buy medicine), Meralita said.

Meralita pointed out that there were times hospitals that provide free medicines experienced shortage, prompting him to purchase his child's medicines in private hospitals.

Go urged Meralita to visit the PGH and leave his number to the DZRH so that he could be assisted.

Mang Ricardo, magandang umaga. Tutulong ho kami (Mr. Ricardo, good morning. We'll help you)! Go said.

Dito rin po sa PGH, tutulong po kami, iiwan n'yo lang po iyong numero diyan at ipapa-contact namin kayo. Huwag kayong mag-alala tutulungan namin kayo (PGH also has a program for cancer patients, we'll help, just leave your number there and we'll contact you. Don't worry, we'll help you), he added.

Meralita is only one of the callers who sought medical assistance.

Go admitted that there are too many patients who seek medical assistance on a daily basis and he is asking for patience as the government continues to help them for their treatment.

Sa sobra pong daming humihingi po ng tulong, ako mismo, hindi ko naman talaga maasikaso iyan to be honest with you (With the number of people asking for help, I myself, I can't take care of it myself, to be honest with you), Go told radio anchor Cesar Chavez.

The President's top aide, however, reassured that the PGH and MAC was open to all those who sought for medical assistance.

In his State of the Nation Address (SONA) last year, President Rodrigo R. Duterte spoke about having expanded health insurance coverage and benefits to ensure that Filipinos are given equitable access to quality and affordable health services.

Duterte also mentioned how the government has strengthened the implementation of the No Balance Billing Policy which exempts indigents and other marginalized sectors from paying their bills in government hospitals.

The destitute and the indigents, or those who just could not afford hospitalization, can now be provided with free services of government-operated and public hospitals as well, Duterte said in his SONA.

Pasok kayo ng hospital, sabihin ninyo na sabi ni Mayor Duterte, pagamot daw kami, siya daw ang bahala magbayad (Go to a hospital and say Mayor Duterte said that we can get treatment since he will shoulder the expenses), he added.

Source: Philippine News Agency