Go witnesses signing of MOA on liver transplantations in PH

February 27, 2020
Bong Go
SENATOR Bong Go witnesses the MOA signing in Malacanang Palace between the Department of Health, Philippine Children’s Medical Center and The Medical City which aims to have pediatric liver transplantations carried out in the Philippines for qualified patients.

SENATOR Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go attended the signing of the memorandum of agreement (MOA) to perform pediatric liver transplantations in the country on Wednesday at the Premier Guest House in Malacañan Palace.

Under the MOA, which the Department of Health (DOH) signed with the Philippine Children’s Medical Center (PCMC) and The Medical City (TMC), 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.

Go, Chair of the Senate Committee on Health, shared in his speech that President Rodrigo Duterte decided to develop liver transplantations in the country due to their experience in helping Filipino children with biliary atresia, a liver disease that usually requires a liver transplant for the patient to survive. The President and Go have been sending the children abroad, usually in India, for the transplants.

“May mga lumalapit sa akin, humihingi sila ng donations, nagri-raise ng funds. Tayo naman sa gobyerno may mga limits, bawal dito, bawal doon, lalong-lalo na pag ooperahan sa abroad...Nahihirapan tayong mag-raise ng amount, kaya sabi ko, huwag nating pahirapan ang mga pasyente. Kung ano ang pwede nating gawin para mapabilis ang serbisyo, gawin natin,” Go said.

He likened the consortium with the Malasakit Center, which helps indigent patients receive financial and medical assistance from the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth), DOH, Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) and Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO). As what happened with the consortium, the President decided to establish Malasakit Centers upon the recommendation of Go, who consulted government officials and health practitioners.

“Aside from malaki ang tiwala ko sa mga doctor natin, ang pinakaimportante dito, hindi napapabayaan ang pamilya. Karamihan ng lumalapit sa amin, pupunta talaga sa abroad ang mag-asawa dahil gusto nilang mabantayan ang kanilang anak. Naiiwan po ang ibang anak, walang mag-aasikaso, walang magpapakain. Walang maghahanapbuhay. Napipilayan po ang pamilya,” the Senator said.

“Ngayon, kung dito na po gagawin ‘yan, madali tayong makahingi ng tulong. Ganoon pa rin po, ambag-ambag, pero ang government agencies, mas makakatulong sila. Ang PAGCOR (Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation), PCSO, PhilHealth, DOH and even the Office of the President makakatulong agad,” he added.

He also said that the consortium is a short-term solution to the growing cases of Filipino children with biliary atresia. “Sa ngayon ito ‘yung short-term na pwede nating gawin, consortium muna, operahan muna sa kanila (TMC), at pre-operation at post-operation, ang PCMC ang mag-aalaga sa bata.”

The proposed long-term solution is capacitating the National Kidney and Transplant Institute (NKTI) by procuring the necessary equipment for it, improving its facilities and sending its specialists to Taiwan to be trained at the Kaohsiung Chang-Gung Memorial Hospital (KCGMH).

“Maraming salamat sa inyong lahat who made this possible. Hopefully tuloy-tuloy po ang mga ganitong consortiums, agreements, not only limited sa mga liver transplant o biliary atresia patients but all others po,” Go said.

“Kung ano ang maitutulong natin sa ating mga pasyente na mapabilis ang serbisyo sa pagpapagamot, nandito lang po ako as Committee Chair at kung kailangang ilapit sa Presidente. Si Presidente, maawain talaga ‘yan siya lalong-lalo sa mga pasyente,” he added.