COTABATO CITY— Bangsamoro Government’s Ministry of Social Services and Development (MSSD) has added Iranun District Hospital (IDH) as one of its partners under its Bangsamoro Critical Assistance for Indigents in Response to Emergency Situations or B-CARES program.
On July 27, MSSD Director General Atty. Mohammad Muktadir Estrella handed over to IDH Chief Dr. Haris Macapeges a cheque amounting to Php2-million to help indigent patients with their hospitalization through the B-CARES. The two also signed a memorandum of agreement for the implementation of the said program.
B-CARES covers hospitalization expenses, the 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.
“When we say that the Bangsamoros have the right to health, we should demand accountability from our government. And that’s what we are doing in the Bangsamoro Government. We commit to do that even by the end of the transition and even during the regular government period the Bangsamoro Government,” said Estrella.
The director general said that the Php2-million fund was only an initial allocation of the MSSD to the hospital.
“This is just the start. The Iranun District Hospital can always request for replenishment upon liquidation. We commit to deliver our services and be your partner in making sure that we can be of help to our most vulnerable constituents,” Estrella said.
For his part, Chief Macapeges expressed his gratitude to the MSSD and said that the hospital assistance will help not only the indigent patients from the Iranun municipalities of Parang, Matanog, Barira, Buldon, and Sultan Mastura in Maguindanao del Norte, but also those coming from the nearby towns of Lanao del Sur.
To date, MSSD’s B-CARES program already has a total of 14 partner hospitals across the Bangsamoro region, which include the following:
- Sulu Integrated Provincial Hospital;
- Pangutaran District Hospital in Sulu;
- Lamitan District Hospital in Basilan;
- Basilan General Hospital in Isabela City;
- Datu Halun Sakilan Memorial Hospital in Bongao, Tawi-Tawi;
- Maguindanao Integrated Provincial Hospital;
- Amai PakPak Medical Center (APMC) in Lanao del Sur;
- Cotabato Regional Medical Center (CRMC) in Cotabato City;
- Cotabato Sanitarium in Sultan Kudarat; and
- for the Special Geographic Area (SGA) — Community Health Service Cooperative Hospital (COHESCO) in Midsayap Cluster, DESERET Surgimed Hospital and Dr. R.A.M. Albutra General Hospital both in Kabacan Cluster, and Cruzado Medical Hospital in Pikit Cluster.
Aside from the hospitals, MSSD has also partnered with Mercury Drug Store for Bangsamoro indigent patients to avail of free medicines. (Myrna Tepadan/BIO with reports from MSSD)