MANILA – Help from the private and public sectors, including PHP100 million from the Presidential Social Fund, have poured in after the fire that hit the Philippine General Hospital (PGH) early Sunday morning.
PGH Director, Dr. Gerardo Legaspi, said the upgrading of equipment and restoration will begin soon.
In an interview on Tuesday, Legaspi said they will procure new machines and devices to equip their operating room, as well as make sure that there will be no similar incidents in the future.
He placed the estimated damage to equipment at PHP50 million.
“The fire damaged only a small area of the hospital but it was a very vital space, the operating room. Activities to deliver surgical service were delayed but we are in the process of restoring that,” he told the Philippine News Agency.
President Rodrigo Duterte called him up and assured him of funds to restore the damaged areas.
“We are very grateful for that,” he said.
Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque also visited the PGH on Tuesday and brought stand fans to help ward off the smell of smoke.
He said the President directed PHP100 million from his social fund to be allocated to PGH.
“The President will be giving his social fund to finance the construction, procurement of materials, and new medical equipment,” Roque confirmed.
“A lot of help is coming our way. We do not see any problems going back to 100-percent efficiency. Definitely, we will start with making sure the fire will not happen again. We will update our electrical systems, install better warning systems, procure new equipment,” Legaspi said.
Pitmaster executive Caroline Cruz said they gave PHP1.5 million and a brand new ambulance.
The fire started at the operating room and sanitization area on the third floor of PGH’s central block building.
Legaspi said initial findings showed faulty electrical wiring caused the fire that started 12:41 a.m. and reached the second level at 12:58 a.m.
The Bureau of Fire Protection declared the fire under control at 2:46 a.m. and out by 5:41 a.m. There were no casualties.
PGH’s emergency room and some laboratory services are temporarily closed.
The PGH is the country’s largest Covid-19 referral center.
As of May 17, it has 147 patients, three of them probable cases and two suspect cases, while its bed capacity remains at 250.
Of the total 4,413 admissions since Feb. 3, 2020, a total of 3,300 recovered. (PNA)