IT WAS the point behind all the efforts to supposedly “flatten the curve,” just to delay the chain of transmission to allow our health care system enough time to prepare for a surge of cases.
Just recently, the Philippine College of Physicians Central Visayas Chapter (PCP-CV), a group of 900 physicians, makes a public plea expressing its concern over the “recent rise in low to high risk Covid-19 admissions,” saying the burden of the pandemic “has been heaviest for us in the frontline healthcare sector.”
The PCP-CV’s members are doctors specializing in adult care, including infectious disease specialists, pulmonologists, internal medicine all. The weight of the pandemic falls on them as the frontline lifesavers. They have a totally grounded view that sets them specifically apart from politicians and policy-makers, and they’re usually too busy to make any public show.
Well, not this time though with a published statement. The PCP-CV makes a plea as it explains how “functional manpower is as integral as medical therapy and hospital facilities” are.
“We need to ensure that we are made free from threats of the virus itself, policies and legislation that would run counter to the service we aim to provide,” the statement read. “The college hopes for occupational safety and good health among our exhausted frontliners. We commend their unwavering commitment to duty despite the overwhelming load and challenges.”
What could have pushed the college to finally release such statement now?
For one, it had pointed out the recent rise in Covid-19 admissions. It also comes in the wake of two private hospital groups’ recent pronouncements to level up their capacities for Covid-19 cases. One hospital announces it would open a whole floor solely dedicated to Covid-19 admissions. Intensive care units will be expanded by 300 percent.
These expansions in bed capacities and facilities will take a toll on doctors and health care teams.
Meanwhile, Cebu City Mayor Edgardo Labella reminds the public of the protocol that mild cases can be managed in the quarantine centers. “They are advised not to go directly to the hospitals so our hospitals will not be overwhelmed,” Labella said. He assures that the quarantine facility is just as equipped as the hospitals. However, does this “protocol” really amount to being a buffer mechanism before cases may even reach hospitals, especially the private ones? Who stops individuals from availing themselves the services of private hospitals where their health insurance are honored?
Meantime, the PCP-CV asks the public to strictly observe all the quarantine requirements as a way to help in the fight against the pandemic.
These expansions in bed capacities and facilities will take a toll on doctors and health care teams. We wonder if all the planning had factored in the hiring of more workforce, without which the whole scheme will expose the staff to cruel working conditions.