Press Release
September 7, 2023

Bong Go advocates for more Super Health Centers in light of study on low annual check-up rates in PH

Senator Christopher "Bong" Go, chairperson of the Senate Committee on Health and vice chairperson of the Finance Committee, has expressed serious concerns over a study that shows only 40 percent of Filipinos have annual medical checkups.

Conducted from August 1 to 10 and involving 1,205 respondents aged 18 to 65, the Capstone-Intel Corp study revealed that 33 percent of Filipinos only seek medical attention when feeling unwell, 15 percent seldom do, 7 percent go for checkups every two to three years, and a concerning 4 percent never undergo any medical checkups.

"Ang resulta ng pag-aaral na ito ay hindi lamang mga numero. Isang malinaw na salamin ito na nagpapakita ng kasalukuyang kalagayan ng healthcare system sa ating bansa," said Go.

"It's a wake-up call that emphasizes the urgency of strengthening our healthcare system and the need to improve access to primary care, medical consultations and early detection of diseases," added Go.

Given this, Go is championing the establishment of Super Health Centers, designed to offer a wide range of services from primary care and consultation to early detection. These centers aim to significantly strengthen the healthcare sector, particularly in underserved areas.

Services offered at Super Health Centers include database management, out-patient care, birthing facilities, isolation units, and diagnostic services like x-rays and ultrasounds. Specialized services like EENT, oncology centers, physical therapy, and telemedicine will also be available.

In addition to Super Health Centers, Go also mentioned the continuing operations of Malasakit Centers and the recent enactment of the Regional Specialty Centers Act.

Malasakit Centers bring together representatives from the Department of Social Welfare and Development, DOH, PhilHealth, and Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office. These one-stop shops aim to support impoverished patients in reducing their hospital costs to the least possible amount.

Go is the principal author and sponsor of Republic Act No. 11463 or the Malasakit Centers Act of 2019, which institutionalized the Malasakit Centers program. To date, 158 operational centers have helped more than seven million Filipinos nationwide, according to DOH.

Meanwhile, Go is also the principal sponsor and one of the authors of the recently signed RA 11959, or the Regional Specialty Centers (RSC) Act. The newly enacted law aims to create additional specialty centers in various regions, thereby ensuring that Filipinos have access to specialized medical services without the need to travel to Manila.

Go has also proposed Senate Bill No. 189, which aims to provide free annual medical check-ups. He has also advocated for a special provision in PhilHealth to allocate budget for a comprehensive outpatient benefit package. These legislative measures aim to make healthcare more accessible and affordable for all Filipinos.

Go has been vocal about his opposition to the proposed P10 billion budget cut for the Department of Health (DOH) in 2024.

"We cannot allow budget cuts to further widen the healthcare gap among Filipinos. Every citizen, regardless of their income, deserves access to quality healthcare," he said.

Despite budgetary constraints, Go said he remains steadfast in his commitment for healthcare reforms.

"Palagi po natin unahin ang ating kalusugan, dahil ito ang pundasyon ng isang masiglang bansa at masaganang buhay. Tayo pong nasa gobyerno, dapat po palagi tayong one-step ahead para sa ating mga kababayan. Hindi lang po reaksyon sa mga problema ang kailangan, kundi proactive na pagkilos para mapigilan ang mga ito bago pa man mangyari," reminded Go.

"Sa ganitong paraan, masisiguro natin na ang bawat Pilipino, mayaman man o mahirap, ay magkakaroon ng pagkakataon na mamuhay nang malusog at masaya," he ended.

News Latest News Feed