The Department of Health (DOH) in Central Visayas is ramping up the fight against coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) in Cebu province by deploying more medical front-liners.
Dr. Jaime Bernadas, DOH-7 regional director, said in a virtual presser on Monday that the Center for Health Development in the region has deployed 50 registered nurses and 100 underboard physicians to reinforce the existing healthcare workers in private hospitals.
The agency, he said, is readying the 100 deputized physicians who are all underboard Medicine graduates, to serve like postgraduate interns (PGI) under the close supervision of licensed doctors.
He said this is part of the responses of the DOH-7 to the shortage of healthcare front-liners as a result of the lay-off of medical personnel after private hospitals experienced a downturn of admissions at the start of the pandemic.
Bernadas said the inventory of regular beds of private hospitals dropped to about 30 percent because of shortage of medical workers after they laid off their personnel.
“Because the admissions were so low, private hospitals cut down the number of rooms. When the number of Covid-19 patients increased in the past two weeks, their beds and intensive care unit (ICU) allocated for Covid-19 patients have become fully occupied,” he said.
The DOH will shoulder the honorarium and medical benefits of nurses and deputized physicians.
“We already have a guidelines for the activation of more nurses and underboard physicians,” Bernadas said.
Meanwhile, he reminded village officials to follow the protocols in referring Covid-19 patients to medical facilities.
Bernadas said they should refer first to the operations center supervised by the DOH-7 and the Regional Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases if they discovered a coronavirus patient in their locality and prevent sending patients to hospitals without their knowledge.
He also reminded village officials to utilize their barangay isolation centers for asymptomatic persons as well as those who experience only mild and moderate symptoms to prevent swamping the hospitals.
Dr. Von Philip Baton, DOH-7 medical officer, said the city has reported 1,780 patients who are now undergoing isolation at the village isolation centers here. (PNA)