MANILA, Philippines — Twenty hospitals in the National Capital Region (NCR) are now at “critical level” while 23 others are at the “higher risk level” due to the increasing occupancy rates of their COVID-19 wards, the Private Hospitals Association of the Philippines Inc. (PHAPi) said.
“When you say high risk, 70 to 85 percent of their beds are occupied and it’s critical if at least 85 percent is up to its capacity,” PHAPi president Jose Rene de Grano said in an interview Tuesday night with “The Chiefs” on OneNews.
He noted that if the trend continues, there might be a repeat of the situation back in August 2020, when COVID-19 beds became full in almost every hospital.
According to Grano, the health care utilization rate in NCR is around 52 percent, with 90 percent of cases comprised of mild and asymptomatic patients that don’t need hospitalization.
“The asymptomatic patients go to the quarantine areas, and then some of the mild and symptomatic go to the hospitals. There are probably 1.5 percent or around 3 percent who are severe or critical cases,” he added.
Health Undersecretary and treatment czar Leopoldo Vega yesterday said the recent spike in COVID-19 cases has prompted the One Hospital Command (OHC) to refer Metro Manila patients to health facilities in nearby central Luzon and Calabarzon.
He added that from around 80 calls in previous weeks, the OHC is now receiving around 250 calls a day, with most callers inquiring about COVID-19 hospitals that can still accept patients.
More medical staff
Having to deal with increasing COVID-19 patients, the Philippine General Hospital (PGH) is asking the Department of Health (DOH) to augment its manpower by 30 to 40 medical workers.
“Right now we’re OK. We were able to get most of our nurses and we have doctor-trainees and consultants who are manning our COVID-wards so we’re still OK. (But) we do not have the budget to pay for these people anymore so we’re asking DOH maybe if they could pay for their salaries and augment our workforce,” PGH spokesman Jonas del Rosario said.
He added that if the upward trend continues, PGH’s workforce would be overwhelmed, just like last year when frontliners got tired or contracted COVID-19 during the previous peak of the pandemic.
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