DAGUPAN City, Pangasinan -- “To the staff of the hospital who are in direct contact with the patients, you work here and you are expected by your patients to give them not just quality care but with malasakit or sense of respect. Malasakit is something unique to the Filipinos.
Malasakit has a lot of emotional impact upon all of us.”
This was the reminder given by Health Secretary Francisco Duque III to the staff of Region 1 Medical Center (R1MC) as he underscored the importance of “Malasakit” (concern) to their patients, and level this up into “endearment.”
Duque led the inauguration last Friday of R1MC’s 5-Storey Training and Eye Center Building. With him were Secretary Raul Lambino, Presidential Adviser for Northern Luzon; former House Speaker Jose de Venecia Jr., Taguig City-Pateros Rep. Pia Cayetano, and R1MC Medical Center chief Dr. Joseph Roland Mejia.
The P100-million building which was erected on a two-hectare R1MC property was funded by the Health Facilities Enhancement Program of the Department of Health (DoH).
“As we have leveled up the physical transformation, let us not forget that we are not just after client or patient satisfaction. Level that up, meaning with endearment, we want to give them the experience that is really unforgettable,” Duque said.
Duque expressed his concern over the result of the Ulat ng Bayan survey of Pulse Asia.
“It revealed that whether public or private hospital, the patient when they were surveyed, only 30% of them said that they were treated with respect, and that is a very small percentage. Also, 18% said when they were asked how they were treated (is it with respect), their reply was with little or some respect. If you add together that is only 48%, that is very low,” he stressed.
Duque said much is expected from hospital staff all over the country once the Universal Health Care passed by the Congress is signed into law by President Rodrigo Duterte.
For her part, Representative Cayetano shared her experience and what she had felt looking after his late father Rene Cayetano when he was hospitalized due to cancer, and after her child who died before he reached one year old.
She reminded the R1MC staff, “when a patient leaves the hospital, there are only two possible feelings, happy because whatever medical condition they had was addressed, and second, sad because of the way they were treated (by the staff).”
Dr. Mejia said R1MC has long been practicing malasakit under a different project/program name. This was enhanced through the DoH’s Malasakit Center, in cooperation with DSWD, Philhealth and PCSO.