PASAY CITY -- Senator Christopher “Bong” Go lauded the municipal government of Sarangani, Davao Occidental and the Department of Health for successfully holding the groundbreaking of the town's Super Health Center on Thursday, February 2.
In his video message, Go said that having Super Health Centers nationwide, especially in rural areas, can significantly improve the delivery of public health services in the grassroots, citing that these centers are aimed to bring the government closer to Filipinos.
The senator then acknowledged how challenging it is to get basic health services in Sarangani, considering that it is a remote island largely accessible only by boat hours away from the mainland of Davao Occidental. General Santos City, the main gateway to the island, is seven hours or so away by boat.
“Isinulong ko po talaga ang pagpapatayo ng mga Super Health Centers sa buong Pilipinas dahil alam ko po kung gaano ninyo kailangan na mapalapit sa inyo ang serbisyong medikal ng gobyerno,” said Go.
“Yung mga nasa probinsya po, lalo na yung mga nasa isla at liblib na lugar, yun po ang target na tayuan ng mga Super Health Centers. Para po masiguro na hindi na po nila kailangan lumayo at gumastos ng malaki para lang makapagpaospital,” he added.
Some 307 SHCs were funded in 2022 through Go’s initiative. He has likewise successfully pushed for adequate funds for more SHCs in the 2023 health budget with the help of DOH and fellow lawmakers.
The Super Health Center is an improved version of the rural health unit. It offers health services including database management, out-patient, birthing, isolation, diagnostic (laboratory: x-ray and ultrasound), pharmacy and ambulatory surgical unit. Other available services are eye, ear, nose and throat (EENT) service; oncology centers; physical therapy and rehabilitation center; and telemedicine, where remote diagnosis and treatment of patients will be done.
Aside from Sarangani, there will also be Super Health Centers in Santa Maria and Don Marcelino, the groundbreaking of which Go personally graced last January 28.
Go, who serves as Chair of the Senate Committee on Health and Demography, had also initiated the Malasakit Centers program to assist particularly poor and indigent patients.
Principally authored and sponsored by Go, Republic Act No. 11463 mandates the establishment of a Malasakit Center in hospitals administered or managed by the Department of Health, and in the Philippine General Hospital.
Malasakit Centers in the region are located at Davao del Sur Provincial Hospital in Digos City, Southern Philippines Medical Center in Davao City, Davao Regional Medical Center in Tagum City, Davao Oriental Provincial Medical Center in Mati City, and Compostela Valley Provincial Hospital.
Meanwhile, Go also continues to push for his twin bills that will help the country better prepare against future public health emergencies.
Go refiled measures that seek to establish the Virology Science and Technology Institute of the Philippines (VIP) and the Philippine Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
The CDC is envisioned to be the lead agency for developing communicable disease control and prevention initiatives. It will be primarily responsible for controlling the introduction and spread of infectious diseases in the country. Some of its primary functions will include policy and standards development, disease detection and surveillance, data collection and analytics, public health communications, and research and evidence synthesis.
Meanwhile, VIP will serve as the principal laboratory of the country in providing virology laboratory investigations, research, and technical coordination of the entire network of virology laboratories nationwide. Under the proposed bill, it will provide guidelines for the establishment and operation of testing, reference and biosafety Levels 1, 2, 3 and 4 research laboratories throughout the country.
“Laging handa dapat tayo para hindi tayo mabigla. Alalahanin natin na hindi naman natin masabi kung ito na ba ang huling pandemya na darating sa buhay natin. Mas mabuti na handa tayo. Mas mabuti nga makagawa tayo ng sarili nating bakuna para hindi tayo umaasa sa ibang bansa,” he stressed.
On the same day, the team of Go also provided assistance to indigents and witnessed the turnover of a sea ambulance to the local government that was acquired through the support of Senator Go.
Meanwhile, on the same day, the senator was in Bataan where he personally witnessed the turnover of housing units in Orion to fire victims he aided in 2019; joined the groundbreaking of Oval Sports Facility, provided assistance to indigents and inspected several projects he initiated in Limay; and spearheaded a relief operation after attending the groundbreaking of the Super Health Center in Mariveles. (OSBG)