The Duterte administration is exerting all efforts for the welfare of government medical front-liners, as well as their families, Senator Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go said Wednesday after the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) hiked the life insurance benefits of its medical front-liner members.
Under the enhanced GSIS life insurance program, the families of public medical front-liners who succumb to the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) will get an additional PHP500,000 on top of their regular life insurance benefits.
“Malaking tulong para sa ating mga medical frontliners ang additional life insurance na ibibigay ng GSIS. Patunay ito na maraming ginagawang hakbang ang ating gobyerno para mas pangalagaan ang kapakanan ng ating mga medical front-liners,” Go said in a statement.
(The additional life insurance from GSIS would be of great help to our medical front-liners. This proves that the government is taking all necessary steps to better care for the welfare of our front-liners.)
“Ang ating hangarin ay kahit sa pinaka-worse situation, nariyan ang gobyerno upang mag-abot ng solusyon at tulong para sa mga medical front-liners at mga pamilya nito (Our aim is that even in the worst situation, the government is always there to provide solutions and assistance to our medical front-liners and their families),” he said.
He said the need for additional insurance benefits could not be stressed enough as medical front-liners face a high health risk of acquiring Covid-19, or even death since they are directly exposed to the dreaded disease.
“This would lessen the financial burden of surviving families in case of unfortunate death of government medical front-liners,” Go said.
Based on the latest records of the Department of Health, over 766 health care workers have contracted Covid-19.
Of these, 339 were doctors, 242 were nurses and the rest are healthcare workers in different professions.
A total of 22 of their number have already succumbed to the disease.
GSIS president and general manager Rolando Macasaet said a government medical front-liner has regular life insurance of about PHP300,000 to PHP500,000, which is computed from 150 percent of his/her yearly compensation.
So if a medical front-liner has a monthly salary of PHP 30,000 dies from Covid-19, the heirs will receive PHP540,000 life insurance benefit (PHP30,000 monthly salary x 12 months x 150 percent), he said.
Under the enhanced GSIS insurance, Macasaet said the heirs will receive an additional PHP500,000, bringing the total GSIS insurance benefits to PHP1,040,000.
The heir will also be receiving PHP1 million under the Bayanihan to Heal as One Act.
The Bayanihan Fund for Frontliners covers GSIS members who are working under DOH, health offices, and medical centers as well as treatment and rehabilitation centers.
It also includes members who are in hospitals, especially in DOH-supervised hospitals.
“So theoretically, the family of a medical front-liner who succumbs from Covid-19 will now receive at least PHP2 million,” Macasaet said in an online radio interview.
Meanwhile, Go reiterated his assurance that all 71 Malasakit Centers across the country remain operational to serve Filipinos, particularly poor and indigent patients despite the ongoing enhanced community quarantine (ECQ).
He said that aside from the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth), each Malasakit Center hosts three more government agencies that can further help patients cover their hospital bills — the Department of Health DOH), Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), and Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO).
Other than patients who have been hospitalized due to Covid-19, he also assured that Malasakit Centers continue to assist patients suffering from other diseases, such as pneumonia and tuberculosis, among others.
“Kung sakaling ‘di kayaning bayaran ng PhilHealth ay bukas po ang Malasakit Center. (If PhilHealth cannot cover all the cost, the Malasakit Center is open),” Go said.
And If this is still not enough, he assured that his office, as well as that of President Rodrigo Duterte, is always ready to assist patients who need assistance.
“Kung kailangan, pwede kayo lumapit kay Pangulong Duterte at pwede kayo lumapit sa akin (If needed, you can approach President Duterte and you can approach me),” Go said. (PNA)