MORE AID. Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao health officials turn over a check replica as part of the 'Tulong Medical Assistance Program' Wednesday (June 29, 2022). The program is a joint undertaking of MOH-BARMM and Bangsamoro Transition Authority to help more indigent patients in the region. (Photo courtesy of MOH-BARMM)

COTABATO CITY – The Ministry of Health in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (MOH-BARMM) and the lawmaking Bangsamoro Transition Authority (BTA) have signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to establish the “Tulong Medical Assistance Program” in the region.

BARMM Health Minister Dr. Zul Qarneyn Abas said Thursday the PHP20-million medical assistance is funded under the Transition Development Impact Fund (TDIF), which intends to promote greater access to health services.

To kick off the initiative, BTA representatives turned over Wednesday an initial PHP300,000 fund for the program to MOH officials.

The program will benefit Bangsamoro indigents through the Amai Pakpak Medical Center in Marawi City; Cotabato Regional and Medical Center in Cotabato City;  Zamboanga City Medical Center; Basilan General Hospital; Sulu Sanitarium Hospital; and the Cotabato Sanitarium Hospital.

Other recipient health facilities are the Deseret Surgimed Hospital; Dr. Serapio Montaner Jr. Al Haj Memorial Hospital; Maguindanao Provincial Hospital; Iranun District Hospital, and the Tamparan District Hospital.

“I assure our dear partners from our various end-use hospitals and health care facilities that the BARMM government will stand by your side in our quest towards a sustainable development in our health care system in the region,” Abas said.

Dr. Amirel Usman, MOH director-general, said the projects are proof of the commitment and support to address issues in the health sector and promote equal access to high-quality health care services in the region. (PNA)