WITH several health facilities in the National Capital Region (NCR) already overwhelmed by coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) patients, the head of the Philippine Hospital Association (PHA) said the health sector has lost the fight.
"One year of fighting for our doctors, nurses, and other hospital personnel. By this time, it appears we are already losing this fight," PHA president Jaime Almora said in a television interview.
"Their capabilities to provide the services are already depleted. Hospitals are being overwhelmed and overrun. We have actually already lost," he added.
He said healthcare workers are experiencing fatigue and many are getting sick with Covid-19.
"Healthcare workers are already very tired. Sixteen hours of duty and they are already running short. What is happening is really saddening as patients are being denied admission or have to wait for a long time," said Almora.
He said the lack of personnel is the reason behind the hospitals’ failure to expand Covid-19 capacity.
"This simply means they don't have the capability, not necessarily capacity. If it's just beds, there are beds. The problem is no one will attend to the patients," said Almora.
Department of Health (DOH) Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire, in a press briefing, said the battle continues.
She asked the health sector to not give up.
"We were already able to succeed back in July and August. We can do it again as long as we work together,” she said.
To decongest hospitals, the government has reopened the mega temporary treatment and monitoring facilities (TTMFs) in Metro Manila.
Vergeire said the Rizal Memorial Coliseum with 97 beds and Ninoy Aquino Stadium with 127 beds have reopened while the Quezon Institute with 112 beds is set to reopen.
She said they will also modify the use of the mega TTMFs as they will be also be designated as step down facilities for hospitals.
"We are going to re-strategize the use of these quarantine facilities and use them as step down care facilities, wherein those already recovering will be brought there so we can decongest our hospitals," said Vergeire.
Vergeire also said they will tap some hotels to be converted into quarantine facilities for mild and asymptomatic patients.
DOH Undersecretary Leopoldo Vega, who heads the One Hospital Command, said they have hired 9,000 healthcare workers since January 2021.
"We have already deployed some 3,011 to different government health facilities in the National Capital Region," Vega said in another interview. (HDT / SunStar Philippines)