Bangsamoro CSOs call for BARMM Subsidies for Healthcare Beyond Core Territory

GENERAL SANTOS CITY  (June 2, 2024) -- During the Capability Development Training on June 1-2, 2024, at Casa Rafael Inn,this city, the United Southern Mindanao Civil Society Organizations (USCS), a coalition of Moro civic groups dedicated to peace and development, called on the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) to offer subsidies for hospitalization and medical diagnostic services through private hospitals to Bangsamoro individuals residing outside the core territory.

Apsa Nawa from Socsargen United Moro Women’s Development Association emphasized the necessity of supporting the Bangsamoro people residing outside the Bangsamoro region, especially considering the considerable expenses associated with hospitalization, diagnostic services, and medical imaging.

She mentioned that despite the presence of BARMM’s AMBAG (Ayudang Medikal Mula sa Bangsamoro Government) at the public hospital in General Santos City, only a few Muslims utilize the hospital's services due to the insufficient availability of crucial medical equipment necessary for proper diagnosis.

“Kailangan pang pumunta sa private hospital kung magpa-CT scan ang pasyente (The patient should go to private hospital to undergo CT scan),” she said.

AMBAG, a medical assistance intervention under the Office of the Chief Minister (OCM) Flagship Programs, is principally aimed at facilitating access to government healthcare services for the Bangsamoro constituents.

The participants also observed instances of patient congestion in public hospitals, primarily attributed to their limited bed capacity.

They also highlighted the exorbitant expenses associated with hospitalization, which pose a significant financial burden for many Bangsamoro individuals, making it challenging for them to afford.

During the planning session, the participants discussed the formation of a lobbying team tasked with presenting a position paper to advocate for financial assistance from the Bangsamoro government. The aim is to secure subsidies for hospitalization, diagnostic services, and healthcare provisions of private health care facilities.