By Ali G. Macabalang
COTABATO CITY — Since October 6 last year, the regional autonomous government through the Ministry of Social Services and Development (MSSD) has already released P19,967,870.54 monetary aids for indigent patients at the Cotabato Regional Medical Center (CRMC) in this city, the Bangsamoro Information Office (BIO) announced.
The BIO said monetary aids were released under the MSSD’s Bangsamoro Critical Assistance for Indigents in Response to Emergency Situations or B-CARES program, which covers hospitalization expenses, cost of medicines, and other medical treatments or procedures such as laboratory fees, dialysis, chemotherapy, Computed tomography (CT) scan, Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), and anti-retroviral therapy.
B-CARES program has so far served 1,507 patients in CRMC, more than 50% of them were residents of this city, the BIO said on the heels continuing statements of city government’s desistance to BARMM supports.
“Sa CRMC, mayroon tayong social worker na nasa Malasakit Center nakatalaga. So, lalapit lang sila (mga pasyente) sa lugar na ‘yon at pwede silang ma-assess ng ating social worker,” MSSD Minister Raissa Jajurie told the BIO in an interview on Wednesday, Oct. 20.
As of August 2021, Jajurie said, MSSD has 11 partner hospitals in BARMM with a total of Php68,894,606.21 allotted funds to the following hospitals:
• Cotabato Sanitarium Hospital in Sultan Kudarat, Maguindanao;
• Maguindanao Integrated Provincial Hospital in Shariff Aguak Municipality;
• Amai Pakpak Medical Center in Marawi City;
• Community Health Service Cooperative Hospital (COHESCO) in Midsayap, North Cotabato;
• Dr. R.A.M. Albutra General Hospital in Kabacan, North Cotabato;
• Basilan General Hospital in Isabela City;
• Lamitan District Hospital in Lamitan City,Basilan;
• Sulu Integrated Provincial Hospital in Jolo;
• Pangutaran District Hospital in Pangutaran, Sulu; and
• Datu Halun Sakilan Memorial Hospital in Bongao, Tawi-Tawi.
She said the MSSD’s tie-up with Mercury Drug store in Cotabato City has already covered Php12.8-million worth of medicines for 1,880 patients from May 19 to September 30, 2021. Of the beneficiaries, 60% were residents here.
“Para naman sa Mercury Drug na partnership kung saan pwede pong mabigyan ang isang benipisyaryo ng tulong para makabili ng medisina for a maximum amount of 10,000 pesos, maaari silang pumunta sa regional office ng MSSD,” Jajurie said.
Patients requiring aids for medicine purchase may go to MSSD’s office here and submit the prescription, which must include the date of issuance of the prescription, patient’s complete name, and PRC license number and signature of the attending physician, she said.
“Ginagawa ng Ministry at ng BARMM government ang lahat para maipaabot ang serbisyo at mga programa sa lahat nang walang naiiwan,” Jajurie stressed.
Last Saturday, Health Minister Bashary Latiph and Director General Amirel Usman also enumerated at the “Tapatan” forum of the Bangsamoro Press Corps various health and medical supports to city residents amid difficulty allegedly caused by the city leadership’s refusal to recognize the BARMM government’s authority. (AGM)