Sorsogon Gov. Chiz Escudero expressed concern over news reports that volunteer doctors and other medical frontliners are quitting due to their poor working conditions and environment.
Escudero sent out tweets following news that several hospitals nationwide are nearing full capacity, or even reached their maximum limits for COVID-19 patients, creating long lines of patients waiting in the hospital emergency rooms.
Some hospitals in other provinces had converted their parking spaces as COVID-19 wards, while a hospital in Metro Manila had opened its chapel to allow additional beds for patients.
The former Senator urged Department of Health (DOH) to provide a home care package with doctor’s supervision for mild and asymptomatic patients as to decongest hospitals, and free up more hospital beds for serious cases.
This is to prevent the collapse of the country’s health care system due to surge in COVID-19 cases,
Escudero said DOH should mandate both private and public hospitals to admit only moderate and severe COVID-19 cases to free up hospital beds for those who really need them.
He noted that most medical facilities were already full beyond their capacities, and their health workers overwhelmed.
“The DOH should provide a home-care package w/ doctor’s supervision for mild and asymptomatic COVID-19 patients, and mandate that only moderate/severe patients should be admitted in private/public hospitals to provide enough beds to those who really need it, and not because of mere whim,” the former senator said in his Twitter @saychiz account.
“This is one way to prevent the collapse of our health care system and to prevent our HCWs (health care workers) from being overwhelmed with the surge in the number of cases,” he tweeted.
“Ito ay hindi dapat pinagsasa-walang bahala. The DOH should act on this matter with utmost urgency. Buhay ng ating mga frontliners at mga pasyente ang nakataya,” Escudero pointed out.
For instance, he said, the Philippine General Hospital (PGH), the country’s premier COVID-19 referral hospital, is suffering manpower deficiency, after half of its volunteer doctors decided not to renew their contracts.
According to PGH Spokesman Dr. Jonas Del Rosario, there is a continuous stream of COVID-19 patients into the public hospital, forcing health care workers to perform long hours, and many get sick out of exhaustion.
“Eleven out of 22 volunteer doctors assigned to COVID ward of PGH had decided not to renew their monthly contracts that expired last week,” he said.