SENATOR Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go recognized the contributions of family physicians to Philippine health care, adding that his experience with them and their advice positively influence his health-related advocacies in line with his work as a senator.
“Malaking bahagi po ng trabahong ginagampanan ko at ng mga panukalang isinusulong ko bilang senador at Chairman ng Committee on Health ay hango sa naging karanasan at payo ng mga miyembro ng inyong hanay,” Go said in his speech at the 59th Anniversary and Annual Convention of the Philippine Academy of Family Physicians (PAFP) at the Reception Hall of the Philippine International Convention Center in Pasay City.
The senator cited the Malasakit Center, a one-stop shop for financial and medical assistance, as one of the projects that he helped establish upon consultations with doctors. Located in 68 government hospitals so far, the Malasakit Center streamlines the assistance from the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth), Department of Health (DOH), Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) and Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO).
Go also recognized the contribution of the PAFP members to society. “Family physicians are the key frontliners in our fight for a healthier future for the Filipino people,” he said.
“As the primary care physicians in communities, schools, workplaces, emergency rooms and hospitals, you are the first doctors that our people encounter. This makes you crucial not only in administering the best course of treatment and care among patients but also in ensuring the efficacy of our healthcare system,” he added.
The senator, who serves as Chair of the Senate Committee on Health and Demography, also shared that the DOH, the Philippine Children’s Medical Center, and The Medical City recently signed a memorandum of agreement (MOA) to perform pediatric liver transplantations in the country.
Under the MOA, the government hospital will identify qualified patients, the private hospital will perform the transplants and the DOH will reimburse the expenses through the PCMC, among other stipulations.
“Para po ito sa mga batang may biliary atresia na inilalapit sa amin ni Pangulong Rodrigo Duterte. Ngayon, hindi na natin sila kailangang ipadala sa India para maoperahan,” Go said.
He also said that he recently filed Senate Bill 1226, or the proposed DOH Hospital Bed Capacity and Service Capability Rationalization Act of 2019.
“Under the current set up, a DOH hospital can only increase its bed capacity and improve its service capability through legislation. However, proposals to adjust hospital capacity and capability compete with multitudes of other proposals in Congress,” he explained.
“To expedite the process for improving the capacity and capability of hospitals that are under the jurisdiction of the DOH, the measure seeks to authorize the DOH to increase the bed capacity and service capability of its retained hospitals, and to allow it to promulgate evaluation and appropriate guidelines for changes in capacity and capability,” he added.
Go also mentioned that the other bills that he filed seek to establish a national Emergency Medical Services System, establish a Drug Abuse Treatment and Rehabilitation Center in every province, expand the coverage of the Mandatory Basic Immunization Program, establish Advance Nursing Education Programs in universities and many others.
“Kung mapapansin ninyo, ang lahat ng mga panukalang ito ay hindi lang nakatutok sa pagsugpo ng mga sakit at suliraning medikal kundi nakasentro rin sa pagpapatatag ng kahandaan laban sa sakit at sa pagpapalakas ng kalusugan ng ating mga kababayan,” he explained.
He added, “If we want a truly healthier future for the Filipino people, I believe that putting more resources in readiness and prevention is better than putting it in the cure. By pursuing this strategy, not only will we be able to spend far less, but we will also be able to do so much more
“I know that this wisdom lies at the very core of the practice of family and community medicine, which is why I consider you to be an important ally going forward.
“Kaya naman po, inaasahan ko hindi lang ang inyong suporta kundi pati na rin ang inyong aktibong pakikilahok upang tuluyan nang maging ganap na batas ang mga panukalang inilahad ko sa inyo.”
The senator also shared that he defended the 2020 budget of the DOH. “Balak sana nilang i-slash ang budget, ngunit hindi ako pumayag dahil ayokong mawalan ng trabaho ang mga contractual workers. Tiniyak din natin na may budget para maibigay na ang mas mataas na suweldo ng mga nurse ayon sa desisyon ng Supreme Court.”