Usec. Vega Urges Cebu City Hospitals To Expand COVID-19 Spaces

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A ranking official of the Department of Health (DOH) on Thursday urged private hospitals here to fulfill their promised 30 percent increase in bed capacity intended for coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) patients.

DOH Undersecretary Leopoldo Vega, in a meeting with Cebu hospital officials, said the agency needs “to make sure that the minimum standard of allocated beds for Covid-19 is 20 percent and a rolling of 10 percent if ever there will be a surge” of cases.

“If you have only eight to 10 percent, sometimes it’s a disservice to the society. We are going to heal as one. But we cannot combat this if we cannot join an effort to put in necessary contribution. That is our plea. We will have to accommodate Covid-19 patients for a minimum of 20 percent in terms of bed and another 10 percent if there is a surge,” he told hospital officials.

According to him, a 300-bed capacity private hospital that allocates only 10 percent or 30 Covid-19 beds should have increased it to 90 beds representing 30 percent of the entire capacity of the facility.

He, however, noted the “absorptive capacity” as challenges private hospitals are facing in increasing their bed capacity for coronavirus patients.

The DOH official meanwhile assured Cebuanos that part of the strategies in managing the health crisis in the city is to make Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center (VSMMC) as “Covid-19 referral center for Cebu City”.

With this, VSMMC hospital director, Dr. Gerardo Aquino Jr., contracted the different services in the DOH-run regional hospital “to make sure that the ICUs (intensive care units), even the private rooms can cater to moderate to severe (patients) and the emergency room can be classified as purely for Covid-19.”

“Make sure severe patients and critical patients have to be managed well and placed in a critical environment where every support is here, in equipment to human support. Since you have the capacity of addressing the situation, you must be ready for the acceptance of patients coming from the private institutions specially on critical care that they be managed well,” Vega said.

He also pushed for the strengthening of the referral system and network of healthcare providers, saying that coordination and collaboration is needed to address the health problem due to coronavirus.

He said the referral system here has to be improved in terms of coordination between the private and public hospitals and between the medical centers as well as the level 1 and level 2 patient care centers in the local government units.

“Without the network of referral, then it becomes hard for a patient to navigate and seek treatment,” Vega told the media in separate interview. (PNA)