MANILA – The Department of Health (DOH) on Friday designated at least two public hospitals as exclusive facilities for coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) patients.
Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said the University of the Philippines-Philippine General Hospital (UP-PGH) in Manila and the Dr. Jose M. Rodriguez Memorial Hospital in Caloocan City will soon exclusively handle persons infected with Covid-19.
Vergeire said the two hospitals are now transitioning their services for the plan to convert it as “specific Covid-19 hospitals.”
“Ito pong lahat ay mangyayari sa mga susunod na araw (These hospitals will be used exclusively to treat Covid-19 patients in the coming days),” Vergeire said in a Palace press briefing.
Vergeire said the latest move would prevent a “mix of patients.”
She said all Covid-19 patients would be transferred to UP-PGH and Dr. Jose M. Rodriguez Memorial Hospital.
Meanwhile, patients who are not infected with Covid-19 would be transferred from the designated facilities to other hospitals, Vergeire said.
In an earlier advisory, the DOH said the UP-PGH has ceased admission of non-emergency cases to ensure sufficient wards and rooms in the establishment amid talks between the hospital’s management and the DOH for its designation as a Covid-19 referral hospital.
“The initiative will require full support from the NCR (National Capital Region) medical community since additional health care workers will be needed to complement PGH’s existing workforce,” the advisory read.
A wing composed of 40 beds at the Lung Center of the Philippines (LCP) will be dedicated to Covid-19 cases, noting that since the LCP houses other immune-compromised patients, great care will be taken to avoid transmission of the disease.
“Because LCP is the referral hospital for patients with multi-drug resistant tuberculosis and long cancer, care must be taken not to expose these immunocompromised patients,” the advisory read.
For those interested in helping out during the enhanced community quarantine, the DOH said it continues to encourage those who wish to donate blood to ensure adequate supply for severe and critical patients.
However, those with symptoms or suspected Covid-19 patients will not be admitted at the Philippine Blood Center.
“The DOH is one with the entire nation in recognizing the many sacrifices health workers have already made and will continue to make, including those in PGH,” the advisory read.
On Thursday, a group of private hospitals urged the government to centralize all efforts and resources into one or two Covid-19 hospitals that are adequately equipped, citing that their manpower and medical equipment are depleted amid the public health emergency.
Vergeire said the government’s contingency plan is to have dedicated Covid-19 hospitals that are situated to “strategic areas of the country.”
“Ito ang ating pinaplano (This is what we’re planning) and hopefully, it would work for us,” she said.
The number of confirmed cases of Covid-19 in the country climbed to 217 as of Thursday. (with reports from Raymond Carl dela Cruz/PNA)