CITY OF SAN FERNANDO, Pampanga – The 153rd Malasakit Center was launched on Thursday at the Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) Hospital here to the medical and health needs of migrant workers and their families.
Department of Health (DOH) officer-in-charge Maria Rosario Singh-Vergeire, together with Department of Migrant Workers Secretary Susan "Toots" Ople, Senator Christopher “Bong” Go and other government and local officials led the launch of the Malasakit Center.
The facility is expected to provide OFWs the convenience of a one-stop-shop for the medical and other assistance being offered by the Department of Social Welfare and Development, Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office and Philippine Health Insurance.
Vergeire said through the Malasakit Center, comprehensive and health care services to migrant workers including Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) contributors, whether active or non-active and their qualified legal dependents, will be provided.
She said the center will also serve as a primary referral hospital for repatriated OFWs in need of medical services and assistance.
"We consider this a critical milestone, as it not only means another opportunity to improve access but equally worth celebrating is the fact that this is the first center that will cater specifically to our countrymen who we consider our modern-day heroes–our Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs)–as this center is strategically located in our newly-created OFW Hospital,” Vergeire said in a statement.
She assured of the DOH’s continuing support in putting up of more Malasakit Centers.
“Makaasa po kayong lagi’t laging naririto ang DOH upang magbigay ng suporta (Rest assured that the DOH is always here to provide support),” she added.
Vergeire called for unified efforts to realize the goal of universal health care (UHC).
“Let us unite under the banner of UHC, to realize our goal of the Philippines where quality healthcare is affordable to all,” she said.
Go, meanwhile, asked the OFWs to avail of the services of Malasakit Centers which continue to provide convenient and safe access to various medical assistance programs of the government.
“Napakaganda pong kumbinasyon nito dahil bukod sa pagkakaloob ng OFW Hospital ng serbisyong medikal, hindi na rin lalayo pa ang mga pasyenteng kailangan naman ng tulong para sa kanilang mga bayarin sa ospital dahil naririto na rin ang dapat nilang lapitan na Malasakit Center (This is a great combination because aside from medical services being offered by the OFW Hospital, there is no need for our patients who needed assistance for the payment of their hospital bills to go far because there is the Malasakit Center that they could approach),” Go said. (PNA)