Private hospitals ordered to allocate 20% of bed capacity for Covid patients

File photo by Macky Lim

IN A bid to decongest Davao City’s healthcare facilities brought about by the continuing rise of Covid-19 cases, 17 identified private hospitals in the city are now mandated to allocate 20 percent of their total bed capacity for Covid-19 patients.

Davao City Health Covid-19 focal person Dr. Ashley Lopez said in a radio interview on Thursday morning, November 26, 2020, that this is part of the One Hospital Command Center system established in the city to ensure an efficient referral system, as private hospitals are mandated to increase ward bed occupancy from 20 percent to 30 percent.

This was made after the city reverted to general community quarantine (GCQ).

Lopez said treatment czar and Health Undersecretary Leopoldo Vega is currently in the city to assist the set up of the One Hospital Command.

Vega formerly served as the chief of the Southern Philippines Medical Center (SPMC), which is the city's former lone Covid-19-designated hospital. SPMC is currently experiencing congestion of Covid-19 patients.

"Kabalo ta nga naa ta congestion sa SPMC (Everyone is aware that SPMC is experiencing congestion) because [it] is the lone city isolation unit that we have, catering to all cases of moderate-severe and critical Covid-19 cases sa (in) Davao [City]," Lopez said in an interview via 87.5 FM Davao City Disaster Radio.

"Na-realize nato na di na husto. Ang participation [and bed] allocation gikan sa private hospital gamay lang, mga around four percent lang (We realized that this isn’t enough. We also saw that the participation and bed allocation from private hospitals is only around four percent)," Lopez added.

The city’s Covid-19 focal person said Vega met with the different private hospital officials and mandated them to allocate Covid-19 beds for Covid-19 patients.

"Mandated na sila mu-allocate (They are now mandated to allocate beds) for Covid-19 patients, whether primary, secondary, or tertiary level ka nga (of a) hospital," Lopez said.

He said all participating hospitals will be receiving government assistance -- financially and in other resources, such as additional medical personnel, logistics and needed equipment that includes ventilators.

The health official said this would help address the city's "efficiency in dealing with the critical care for Covid-19 patients."

In October 2020, SPMC had experienced exhaustion in its intensive care unit (ICU) and ward beds.

However, in the latest data, SPMC's ICU beds are now only 75.33-percent occupied, while its ward beds are 75.07-percent occupied.

SPMC officer-in-charge Dr. Ricardo Audan admitted that while they are capable of expanding more beds, they are short of manpower and that they are already seeking the government's assistance.

The Coordinated Operations to Defeat Epidemic team that arrived in the city on Tuesday, November 24, will assist the city in its Covid-19 response.


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