BARMM lends ZCMC indigent patients helping hand

ZAMBOANGA CITY — The Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao is extending hospitalization and medical aid to indigent patients confined at the Zamboanga City Medical Center through its program dubbed “Ayudang Medikal mula sa Bangsamoro Government” or AMBaG.

AMBaG project manager and BARMM Cabinet Secretary Mohd Asnin Pendatun disclosed that the project has granted an additional P10 million fund to the ZCMC and was received by ZCMC Hospital chief Dr. Afdal Kunting on 21 September.

He stressed that they are regularly replenishing medical funds to the program’s partner hospitals.

“Just recently, we replenished funds in ZCMC as the initial fund of P5 million we transferred to them was already consumed. This time we transferred P10 million,” Pendatun said.

He added that the ZCMC is very strategic as it serves as a referral hospital for patients from Basilan, Sulu, Tawi-Tawi and nearby provinces in Zamboanga.

Pendatun claimed that in ZCMC alone, the program was able to help 588 patients coming from the Bangsamoro core territories and other areas.

As of August this year, the number of patients who benefitted from the program already reached 36,409 and of the figure, 73 percent of patients had zero balance after availing the AMBaG program and other medical benefits of the government.

Pendatun said they simplified the process of availing of the program and ensured that a desk officer is available at every partner hospital ready to assist patients, adding that the program’s marching order to desk officers is to ensure that patients will be discharged from the hospital as soon as they availed of AMBaG’s benefits.

To expand its services, AMBaG is eyeing to forge partnerships with all government hospitals within and outside the BARMM’s formal territories within this year.

“We’re still adding hospitals that are very strategic just outside the BARMM territory,” Pendatun said.

To date, AMBAG has 28 partner hospitals within and outside the region’s territories, as the Bangsamoro Organic Law provides that the regional government shall also extend assistance to Bangsamoro communities outside the region.

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