By Ali G. Macabalang
COTABATO CITY – The Ministry of Social Services and Development (MSSD) has already downloaded P39-million complementary funds to support indigent patients availing medical services in 11 hospitals in the Bangsamoro region that have forged partnership with the welfare agency, according to Philippine Muslim Today news sources.
MSSD Minister Raissa Jajurie inked a memorandum of agreement (MoA) with Dr. Jackie Lou Eisma-Castillo, OIC-head of Basilan’s Lamitan District Hospital last July 13, bringing to 11 the number of medical outfits she had forged MoAs with since last year, the Bangsamoro Information Office (BIO) said in a statement.
Jajurie, a lawyer, forged partnerships with the 11 field hospitals under her ministry’s “Bangsamoro Critical Assistance in Response to Emergency Situation” (B-CARES), a health-related intervention providing aids to poor patients over and above existing packages coming from the Ministry of Health (MoH) and the Office of the Chief Minister (OCM), it was learned.
The OCM launched in 2019 its special project called – Ayudang Medikal mula sa Bangsamoro Government (AMBAG) Program, which has so far served 8,552 indigent constituents during its first 12-month operation.
Under the AMBAG project, the OCM shoulders at least P10,000 worth of hospital bills by indigents. But the BIO) said the program had extended P50,000 aid to Pelagio Ado, a 51-year old traffic enforcer of South Upi, Maguindanao who needed over P100,000 worth of medication after an almost-fatal road accident late last year.
Under the B-CARES program, the MSSD provides each of the 11 partner hospitals a minimum of P1-million to P10-million each, and the amount is replenished when exhausted, Minister Jajurie said in a recent online broadcast here.
The B-CARES program covers hospitalization expenses, medicines, and medical treatment and procedures ranging from laboratory, CT scan, dialysis, MRIs, and anti-retroviral therapy to chemotherapy of identified and validated poor and eligible beneficiaries, said the BIO, the media bureau of the Bangsamoro autonomous region.
Minister Jajurie said the B-CARES assists individuals and families in the region who are experiencing hardships on health and medical concerns, especially in the advent of the Coronavirus pandemic.
The MSSD partner hospitals are: Cotabato Regional Medical Center, P10M; Marawi City’s Amai Pakpak Medical Center, P10M; Datu Halun Sakilan Memorial Hospital in Bongao, Tawi-Tawi, P5M; Sulu Provincial Hospital, P3M; Sulu’s Pangutaran District Hospital, P1M; Basilan General Hospital in Isabela, P2M; Cotabato Sanitarium Hospital in Sultan Kudarat, Maguindanao, P2M; Maguindanao Provincial Hospital, P2M; Community Health Services Coop in Midsayap, North Cotabato, P1M; and Dr. R.A.M. Albutra Hospital in Kabacan, North Cotabato, P1M. (AGM)