MANILA, Philippines – All four major private hospitals in Metro Manila have exceeded their capacity with the recent surge of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) patients.
These hospitals – The Medical City in Pasig City; the St. Luke’s Medical Center in Quezon City and Taguig City; and the Makati Medical Center – have issued their respective advisories saying their workforce have also been overstretched.
Unless they move some of their patients to other hospitals, their healthcare system would break down as some of their health workers are under self-quarantine.
In an interview with Daniel Razon on Wednesday (March 14), Health Secretary Francisco Duque III assured that they have designated a number of public hospitals as augmentation facilities to accommodate more patients.
Meanwhile, three referral facilities for COVID-19 patients are set to open this week.
These include the Lung Center of the Philippines in Quezon City; the Dr. Jose N. Rodriguez Memorial Hospital and Sanitarium (DJNRMH) in Caloocan City; and the University of the Philippines (UP) Philippine General Hospital in Manila.
Duque said there are still 62 rooms available at DJNRMH; 130 hospital beds at the UP-PGH; and about 40 rooms in the Lung Center though rooms in the hospital are easily occupied.
“Iyong ating mga public hospitals marami pa tayo, (There are a number of rooms still available in public hospitals),” he assured.
“Pero siyempre minsan napupuno din itong Lung Center kaya pinalalawig pa rin natin ang mga ibang hospital. In fact, dagdagan ang mga kuwarto at kama para sa mga COVID patients,” he added.
(But of course, Lung Center also gets full so we are still asking augmentation from other hospitals. In fact, we will add rooms and beds for COVID patients.)
Meanwhile, despite the arrivals of donated COVID-19 test kits in the country, the DOH said the number is still not enough to launch a mass testing in the Philippines.
“Hindi pa rin po natin kakayanin iyan dahil nga mayroon tayong tinatawag na global shortage ng mga testing kits. Buti na lang nabibigyan tayo ng donation ng goberyno ng China, ng Singapore at South Korea,” the Health Chief said.
(We are still incapable of conducting [mass testing] because there is a global shortage of testing kits. Good thing we received donations from China, Singapore and South Korea.)
Secretary Duque noted, however, that they are considering the procurement of new test kits duly approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) after the government’s economic cluster’s approval of the P240M budget for that matter. – MNP (with details from Aiko Miguel)
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