THE SOUTHERN Philippines Medical Center (SPMC), the biggest government hospital in the Davao Region assigned to cater to COVID-19 cases, is looking for more private hospitals to partner with to ease its burden of accommodating more cases.
Initially, Dr. Ricardo Audan, hospital chief, said the hospital has signed a memorandum of agreement with Davao Doctors Hospital which would allow the private hospital to accommodate minor non-COVID cases brought to the government facility as charity patients.
“I hope some of private hospitals would do like (what) Davao Doctors (Hospital has done). This is to mitigate the admission of the SPMC,” Audan said in an online press briefing.
He added if private hospitals open their COVID-19 sections, the SPMC will lend them its 10 ventilators provided that the patients will not be made to pay.
This developed as Audan said he has written to both Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Carlito Galvez Jr., national vaccination head, and Police Regional Director Filmore Escobal for the recall of the Army and Bureau of Fire Protection nurses who were sent to the National Capital Region to augment the medical frontliners.
These nurses were deployed by their mother units in the region to help the SPMC in servicing COVID-19 cases.
Audan said the capacity of the Emergency Room of the 1,200-bed hospital went up to 140% at times in the last two weeks. “Ang ER nga namin tinatawag nilang every night midnight sale. Sobrang masikip,” he added.
Audan said that the beds placed in the intensive care unit have been more than doubled to 76 beds, from 35, with just one bed that has yet to get occupied. Those added to the ICU were from pay wards, he explained.
Audan said the hospital was also scheduled to open 10 more beds for ICU and these would be for pediatrics cases, as the hospital was also preparing for another 12 beds for the section, but the “perennial problem is the staffing” as the hospital has continued to recruit for nurses and nursing aides.
In terms of wards, of the 312 beds set aside for COVID-19 cases, 289 of them were occupied as of Monday.
Based on the data of the hospital, in terms of daily active cases, the highest was still between October and November last year when cases reached 350. Between May 2, when the daily additional cases were at 98, it surged to 161 on May 30.
“Probably we were very complacent during these months (March and April when the number of daily cases went down),” Audan explained.
In a regional basis, the Department of Health regional office reported that on Sunday, the number of daily cases was at 243, with 136 from Davao City, 84 from Davao del Norte, 12 are from Davao Oriental, seven from Davao del Sur, and four from Davao de Oro.
This has brought the number of active cases to 2,960 who are either admitted in hospitals or temporary treatment and monitoring facilities.
In the last five months of the year, the number of cases in May at 4,270 was second to the number of cases in January at 4,772.
Health Regional Director Annabelle Yumang said most of these new cases were registered in the last week of May at an average of 200 a day.
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