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  • Writer's pictureMelo Acuna

DOH prepared for more COVID-19 patients needing hospital care

Department of Health prepared to tap hospitals outside Metro Manila

MANILA – Health Undersecretary Guillermo Vega, who chairs the One Hospital Command Center (OHCC) of the Philippine government’s anti-COVID-19 response said they are prepared to tap private and public hospitals outside the National Capital Region.

“About 47% of the average daily toll in COVID-19 cases nationwide comes from Metro Manila,” he said in a virtual press briefing with the media hosted by Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque at midday today.

He explained they saw there were allocated beds in densely populated Central Luzon and CALABARZON where private patients needed medical care in other areas due to the shortage of hospital beds in the National Capital Region.

“We communicated with private and government hospitals outside the National Capital Region. We also helped in the coordination with Regions III and IV,” he explained. They were able to refer patients to Batangas Medical Center, he further said.

Government and private-managed hospitals have requested for personnel complement and the government has responded with additional medical frontline workers. The Human Resource requirements are addressed with new hires as provided in the Bayanihan Act to Heal as One.

Aside from the increase in COVID-19 cases, the Department of Health also noticed an increase in non-COVID-19 emergency cases being brought by ambulances in different government hospitals.

“COVID-19 is entirely different because it changed the paradigm in health services with nurses have to work for two weeks with the government providing accommodation facilities either in dormitories or hotels and even motels,” Undersecretary Vega said. Even activity areas including basketball courts have been converted into dormitories or quarantine facilities for health care workers.

“We also provide them their meals,” Undersecretary Vega concluded. (Melo M. Acuña)

Health Undersecretary Leopoldo Vega. (Screen grab from Malacanang Press Briefing hosted by Sec. Harry Roque/March 18,2021/Melo M. Acuna)

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