Healthcare is a fundamental human right, promoting disease prevention and improving quality of life. It also contributes to an individual’s development and economic growth. However, some individuals cannot access quality healthcare due to financial conditions. With that said, the Philippine government launched the Malasakit Center to ensure that Filipinos can access healthcare services, especially those less fortunate.
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Through this program, indigent and financially incapable Filipino patients can access vital healthcare services by bringing one place all available financial assistance from government agencies. Malasakit Center aims to cover and reduce the hospital expenses of eligible patients by setting up a one-stop shop facility in Partner Hospitals nationwide. So if you or someone you know requires financial assistance for medical expenses, keep reading to learn more about the Malasakit Center program for Filipinos.
What is Malasakit Center?
The Malasakit Center is a one-stop shop facility established on hospital premises where indigent and financially incapable patients can request financial and medical assistance from varying participating government agencies. This program was initiated by Special Assistant to President Christopher Bong Go, per the order of President Rodrigo Duterte. On September 24, 2018, the first Malasakit Center was launched in Davao City, aiming to offer fast and convenient medical services to the needy.
In 2019, Go authorized a Senate bill to promote the establishment of Malasakit Centers across the Philippines after being elected as Senator. The Republic Act No. 11463, or the Malasakit Center Act, was signed into law by President Duterte on December 3, 2019, which complements the Republic Act No. 11223, or the Universal Health Care Act. This law obliges the government to set up Malasakit Centers (formerly called Pagkalinga sa Bayan) in the Philippine General Hospital (PGH).
Furthermore, it authorizes the establishment of Malasakit Centers by the Philippine National Police (PNP) and at hospitals under the Department of Health (DOH). Eligible beneficiaries can request assistance for hospital bills without signing up tons of documents and going through long queues. As of November 2022, the Philippine government has established 153 Malasakit Centers across the country, removing the arduous process of accessing medical and financial assistance in times of sickness.
Looking back, indigent Filipinos who need assistance to reduce their medical expenses have to fill out piles of documents and visit different government offices. But with the implementation of the Republic Act No. 11463, less fortunate Filipinos who require financial and medical assistance from the government can now access multiple subsidies conveniently without the tedious processes and long queues. The Malasakit Centers are established within hospital premises, offering financial and medical assistance to needy patients from the following agencies:
- Department of Health (DOH)
- Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD)
- Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth)
- Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR)
- Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO)
Aside from providing fast assistance to the needy, this program is non-partisan, which means anyone can access the available services with or without endorsement from elected government officials or representatives of party charters. The services offered under the Malaskit Center program are also free of charge to ensure access to quality healthcare regardless of one’s financial conditions. But do note that requirements apply to receive a guaranty letter from Malasakit Centers.
Considering the program intends to protect from financial risk due to healthcare problems, the Malasakit Centers are only open to indigent and financially incapable Filipino patients. In addition, the patient should be admitted and registered first to Malasakit Centers Partner Hospitals to qualify for the program, aiming to reduce the medical expenses to the lowest amount possible in a fast and convenient way by bringing the offices of DOH, DSWD, PhilHealth, PAGCOR, and PCSO in one place, within hospital premises throughout the Philippines.
Eligible patients who wish to access Malasakit Center services should present the following during the application:
- Duly-accomplished Malasakit Unified Form
- Hospital bills
- Medical Abstract
To access services from the Malasakit Center, eligible patients or their families can follow the steps below:
- The in-patient or their family member should head to the hospital billing section.
- Request a billing assessment and medical abstract.
- After securing the said requirement, go to the Malaskit Center within the hospital.
- Fill out the Malasakit Unified Form to seek medical assistance.
- The in-charge social worker will help you with the examination and coverage.
- Next, proceed to the Malasakit Center PhilHealth desk. If you are not a PhilHealth member, you’ll automatically become one.
- But if your PhilHealth coverage is insufficient, you’ll be asked to proceed to DOH or PCSO to request extra funding from the Presidential Social Fund (PSF).
- Instead of cash, you’ll receive assistance in the form of a guaranty letter to cover the hospital expenses.
- Afterward, return to the billing department and present the guaranty letter to reduce hospital expenses.
Reminders for Malasakit Center
For those who wish to access the services of Malasakit Center, please take note of the following reminders:
- The Malasakit Center program is only accessible to indigent and financially incapable Filipino patients.
- The Malasakit Centers are located within the Partner Hospitals of the program, offering assistance from DOH, DSWD, PhilHealth, PAGCOR, and PCSO in one place.
- Eligible patients should be admitted and registered to Partner Hospitals of the Malasakit Center program to access financial and medical assistance from participating agencies.
- Under this program, eligible patients will not receive cash assistance. Instead, patients will receive a guarantee letter to cover the hospital expenses.
- This program intends to speed up the delivery of financial and medical assistance and utilize the Zero balance billing system. So needy patients don’t have to pay fees.
- Also, Malasakit Center aims to reduce the hospital expenses of eligible patients to the smallest amount possible.
- At the time of writing, there are around 153 Malasakit Centers in the Philippines, making it convenient for Filipinos to access assistance from the government.
Video: ALAMIN: PROSESO NG PAG-APLAY NG MEDICAL ASSISTANCE SA MALASAKIT CENTERS / LIST OF MALASAKIT CENTERS
To learn more about the Malasakit Center program of the Philippine government, please watch the video below: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d-fKCEcJvus.
As discussed in the video, the Malasakit Center is a one-stop shop facility representing varying government agencies’ house desks, including DOH, DSWD, PhilHealth, PAGCOR, and PCSO. The said facility offers smooth transactions for indigent patients requesting medical assistance from the government. With the establishment of Malasakit Centers in hospitals, patients can conveniently request medical and financial help from different government agencies.
Patients should visit the Malasakit Center to request assistance and present their medical abstract and hospital billing. Moreover, patients are no longer required to provide a Certificate of Indigency. The help provided under this program also comes from the Presidential Social Fund (PSF), where each patient can access up to P50,000 in medical aid, aside from the help from other government agencies based on their assessment.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is Malasakit Center progam?
Malasakit Center is a program launched by the Philippine government, which is a one-stop shop facility where indigent patients can request financial and medical assistance from different government agencies. The said facility is within the premise of Malasakit Center Partner Hospitals, with house desks from the representatives of DOH, DSWD, PhilHealth, PAGCOR, and PCSO. Thus, patients who require financial assistance to reduce their hospital expenses can conveniently do so.
How to apply for the Malasakit Center program?
Before applying for the services of Malasakit Center, the patient should be eligible for the program. Next, secure an assessment of hospital billing and medical abstract from the hospital billing section. Afterward, head to the Malasakit Center within the Partner Hospital and fill out a Malasakit Unified Form. A social worker will assist you and instruct you on the process. Then, you’ll receive a guaranty letter and present it to the billing department to reduce your hospital expenses.
Who are eligible for Malasakit Center?
Since the Malasakit Center is for those in need, the services under this program are accessible to indigent and financially incapable Filipino patients. However, the programs are only available at Malasakit Centers Partner Hospitals nationwide.
How many Malasakit Centers are there in the Philippines?
As of November 24, 2022, there are 153 Malasakit Centers across the Philippines. The 153rd Malasakit Center opened at the Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) Hospital in San Fernando, Pampanga.
Is the Malasakit Center program free?
Yes, it is. The Malasakit Center is free of charge, so patients don’t have to pay fees to access the services from different government agencies.
Who is funding Malasakit Center?
The Presidential Social Fund (PSF) provides funding to Malasakit Center. Other participating agencies that also help in covering the hospital expenses include the Department of Health (DOH), Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth), Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR), and Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO).
How much is the medical assistance from Malasakit Center Program?
The Presidential Social Fund (PSF) offers up to P50,000 in medical assistance to each patient based on their assessment and coverage. Patients may also receive additional funding from other participant agencies as instructed by the social worker that conducts the evaluation.
Through the Philippine government’s initiative to establish Malasakit Centers nationwide, Filipino citizens can access medical assistance regardless of their financial conditions. This program helps patients by providing accommodations and transportation and reducing hospital expenses. Filipinos who cannot afford healthcare can now conveniently request assistance from different government agencies with this facility set up in Partner Hospitals throughout the Philippines.
Additionally, the Malasakit Center coordinates with hospitals and health professionals to ensure patients receive adequate care. Thus, Filipinos who don’t have the financial capacity to access healthcare will benefit from this program, improving health outcomes, reducing poverty, and providing quality healthcare to everyone.