SAN FERNANDO CITY, La Union – The Department of Health Center for Health and Development (DOH-CHD) in the Ilocos Region is set to dispatch volunteer doctors and nurses from DOH-retained hospitals to assist fellow medical workers in the National Capital Region (NCR) plus bubble.
This, after the DOH called for ‘reinforcements’ to augment its front-liners facing overwhelming numbers of coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) cases in Metro Manila and neighboring provinces of Laguna, Bulacan, Cavite, and Batangas.
As of this posting, there were 28 enlisted volunteers. Of this number, 15 are from the Region 1 Medical Center (R1MC), four from Treatment and Rehabilitation Center (TRC) Dagupan, one from TRC LA Union, and eight from Ilocos Training and Regional Medical Center in La Union (ITRMC).
The number may change as some are still deciding on whether to volunteer or not.
In an interview on Thursday, DOH-CHD-1 information officer Dr. Rheuel Bobis said the medical front-liners will be dispatched as soon as possible.
“Similar instance already happened last year. We sent willing doctors and nurses to Metro Manila last year,” he said, citing the health workers are from Mariano Marcos Memorial Hospital and Medical Center in Ilocos Norte, ITRMC in La Union, and R1MC in Dagupan City.
Some nurses were also sent through the Nurses Deployment Program (NDP) of the DOH.
Once deployed, the volunteers will be sent to the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) referral centers such as the Lung Center of the Philippines, Philippine General Hospital, San Lazaro Hospital, and others, Bobis said.
He said the DOH will shoulder volunteers’ travel and living costs including necessary test costs.
Meanwhile, R1MC chief Dr. Joseph Roland Mejia is confident the medical professionals they will be sending would not suffer major health events as the majority of R1MC personnel have been inoculated.
Mejia said 96 percent of employees in R1MC were vaccinated, while the remaining 4 percent are hospital employees with comorbidities, recovering from previous diseases, and pregnant women. (PNA)