Iloilo Governor Arthur Defensor Says Dengue Outbreak ‘Manageable’

Iloilo Governor Arthur Defensor Jr. has said health personnel “can manage” the present situation in 12 district hospitals after the province was placed under a dengue outbreak.

Over the weekend, Defensor personally visited Barotac Viejo District Hospital, Ramon Tabiana Memorial District Hospital, Rep. Pedro G. Trono Memorial Hospital, among others, to check the hospitals’ situation.

“They can manage, except for a few. We have volunteers in laboratories but we need more because we are having an outbreak level,” Defensor said in an interview Monday.

“I don’t know if we will have emergency hiring because as what I have observed, they can manage,” he added.

Based on the data of the Hospital Management Office (HMO), the province has 165 doctors and 696 nurses in the 12 district hospitals.

Meanwhile, Dr. Cynthia Ng, HMO chief, said district hospitals cannot refuse patients although the number is beyond the hospital’s authorized bed capacity.

“We are thinking of ways to accommodate patients,” she said, adding that patients bring their own beds when they seek treatment in hospitals.

The HMO data on Monday shows that 769 out of 1,984 patients admitted in 12 district hospitals were confirmed dengue cases. The authorized bed capacity in all hospitals in the province is only 590.

Ramon Tabiana Memorial District Hospital in Cabatuan town, which only has 75 authorized bed capacity, holds 137 dengue cases; Jesus M. Colmenares District Hospital in Balasan town, with only 25 authorized bed capacity holds 108 dengue patients; and Iloilo Provincial Hospital in Pototan town with 100 authorized bed capacity, holds 82 dengue patients.

Ng stressed that dengue patients can avail of free hospitalization, as earlier stipulated in an Executive Order (EO) signed by Defensor.

“No discrimination at all, whether you are indigent or not, you can avail of free services in the accommodation wards. Those who are on private rooms can use their PhilHealth,” she said.

She said hospital admission is the last resort but cleaning the surroundings is the solution in combating the mosquito-borne disease.

“The hospitals will just receive patients if we cannot do anything, but when the surroundings are kept clean, we hope that the cases will decrease,” she said. (PNA)