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Benitez promises universal health access for Bacolodnons

Former congressman and current Bacolod mayoralty candidate Alfredo “Albee” Benitez vows to bring effective and speedy access to health services for the Bacolodnons, far from the decades-old tedious process that exists now.

“In my early years in service, access to medical treatment and assistance has been the top request. If the patient misses a single minute of treatment, the effect can be devastating. I am already in talks with private hospitals here and they have expressed openness in helping me change the system,” he said in a post on his Facebook page.

Revamping the city’s delivery of health services and making it more available to the public is his dream for Bacolod. He has laid plans to construct a dedicated wing in local hospitals that would provide immediate medical treatment especially to the underprivileged, the post said.

Benitez’s out-of-the-box, yet hallmark achievement in the 3rd District of Negros where he served as congressman is the rolling out of the Negros Occidental Comprehensive Health Program (NOCHP) card, a health card that patients only need to show to hospitals to gain immediate medical attention, it said.

He said time is of the essence when individuals seek medical attention, hence patients need not fill up lengthy forms or undergo interviews just to gain immediate treatment.

He lamented that sometimes, if not always, political color/affiliation is the basis for medical accessibility.

Health is a fundamental human right, election season or not. The government must make it available to the public every single time, he reiterated.

“With the NOCHP card, everyone can get help, whether you are red, blue, white. We will erase the traditional practice of political patronage. All you have to do is go to the hospital and get the treatment you need,” he said.*

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