GENERAL SANTOS CITY – The City Inter-Agency Task Force (CIATF) for the Management of Emerging and Re-emerging Infectious Diseases is seeking assistance from the national government for the deployment of additional nurses and medical equipment to the area.
Dr. Rochelle Oco, CIATF incident commander, said the move is aimed to address the limited manpower in hospitals and other health facilities in the city amid the continuing surge of locally transmitted coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) cases.
Representatives from the city’s medical sector raised the problem with the shortage of nurses and medical equipment, especially mechanical ventilators and high-flow nasal cannula, during the CIATF meeting last Monday.
She said they would submit the request in the next few days to the Department of Health (DOH) central office and other concerned agencies.
“Hopefully, the DOH can help us on these concerns,” Oco, who is also the acting city health officer, told reporters on Thursday.
The Philippine Medical Association chapter here earlier said five of the city’s seven referral hospitals for Covid-19 are facing a shortage of nurses due to the increasing daily admissions in the last two months.
Prior to the surge starting the last week of April, it said each nurse was only attending to four to five patients, and that has since increased to eight or even more.
The Socsargen Internist Society, in a report from its president Dr. Jovino Caballero Aquino, said the hospitals need to have more mechanical ventilators, currently at combined 23 units, and high flow nasal cannula to ensure the proper treatment of Covid-19 patients.
Oco said they are also following up with the national government on the delivery of additional personnel protective equipment (PPE) and other necessary supplies as well as support for the allowances and incentives of frontline healthcare workers.
She specifically cited the active-duty pay and special risk allowance, which was set by the national government to as much as PHP5,000 a month and covering health workers in public and private facilities.
She clarified that health workers remain committed to their sworn duties with or without these incentives.
“But it will help a lot if they get the benefits they deserve and at the same time assured of protection through enough supplies of PPE sets while on duty,” she said. (PNA)