Hospital group seeks reinforcement as Philippines battles COVID-19 surge
The lobby of Amang Rodriguez Memorial Medical Center in Marikina City is filled with people as patients seek medical checkup on March 19, 2021.
The STAR/Michael Varcas

Hospital group seeks reinforcement as Philippines battles COVID-19 surge

(Philstar.com) - March 22, 2021 - 10:48am

MANILA, Philippines — An organization of hospitals in the Philippines sought for staff reinforcements to care for patients as the country battles a renewed surge in COVID-19 infections.

In an interview with Teleradyo Monday, Jaime Almora, Philippine Hospital Association president, said capacity of several big hospitals has reached “critical level.”

Aside from this, the exhausted and depleted staff are worrying managers amid the surge.

“The nurses are tired. Their numbers are not enough. That’s why we need reinforcement,” Almora said in Filipino.

“We are requesting for reinforcement from health-related agencies,” he said, adding the reinforcement can also come from the military and police where many nurses are now employed.

In an interview with ABS-CBN News Channel, Health Undersecretary Leopoldo Vega said the department is “open in terms of augmentation for emergency hiring” for hospitals.

“We can actually hire or augment the healthcare workers across the different institutions. These are not volunteers, rather they will be paid in emergency basis for augmentation,” Vega added.

The treatment czar also said the government is eyeing to increase the bed allocation for COVID-19 patients for up to 50%. Elective procedures must be also put on “back burner” to prioritize moderate and severe COVID-19 cases, he added.

PHA’s Almora also urged patients who are from the provinces to seek hospital care there instead of going to medical facilities in the capital region.

If the transmission of COVID-19 is not contained, the intensive care units of hospitals in Metro Manila may reach 100% capacity during the first week of April, the OCTA Research Group projected.

The number of new COVID-19 cases has surpassed 7,000 for three consecutive days—the highest since the start of the pandemic—bringing the country’s caseload to over 663,000.

To arrest the spread of the vius, the government banned mass gatherings and cross-border travel in Metro Manila and neighboring provinces of Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna and Rizal. — Gaea Katreena Cabico


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