ILOILO – All the 12 hospitals being operated by the provincial government are struggling to cope with the deluge of patients mostly suffering from dengue. With the number of patients now thrice as many as the number of beds available, the hospitals have allowed patients to stay in hallways.
The provincial government’s Hospital Management Office (HMO) placed the hospitals’ bed occupancy rate now at 336 percent more than the number of patients they could properly handle.
But they could not turn away people needing medical help, said Dr. Cynthia Cabangal-Ng, HMO chief.
The HMO is overseeing the operation of 11 district hospitals and the Iloilo Provincial Hospital in Pototan town.
As of yesterday, HMO records showed 1,984 patients admitted in the 11 district hospitals and Iloilo Provincial Hospital. Of these patients, 769 were dengue cases – 209 cases higher than the 560 hospitalized dengue patients recorded on July 4.
The combined authorized bed capacity of the province’s hospitals is only 590.
“Because hospitals cannot refuse any patient, nagapangita kami medyus kon paano ma-akumodar…like beds nagapangita kami,” said Cabangal-Ng.
Patients are also allowed to bring their own folding beds, she added.
Dengue is a mosquito-borne viral infection causing a severe flu-like illness that could sometimes be fatal. Its carriers are day-biting mosquitoes (Aedes albpictus and Aedes egypti) that live and breed and clean, stagnant water.
According to the World Health Organization, individuals should suspect dengue when a high fever (40 degrees centigrade) is accompanied by two of the following symptoms: severe headache, pain behind the eyes, nausea / vomiting, swollen glands, muscle and joint pains, and rash.
For severe dengue, the warning signs to look out for are: severe abdominal pain, persistent vomiting, rapid breathing, bleeding gums, blood in vomit, fatigue, and restlessness.
All district hospitals have been ordered to extend free services to poor dengue patients. Gov. Arthur Defensor Jr. issued the directive after signing an executive order declaring a dengue outbreak on July 5.
The following district hospitals have more than exceeded their bed capacities:
* Jesus M. Colmenares Memorial District Hospital in Balasan – It has an authorized bed capacity of 25 but its occupancy rate has been exceeded (1,060 percent). It has admitted 265 patients, 108 of which are dengue cases.
* Dr. Ricardo S. Provido Memorial District Hospital in Calinog – It has an authorized bed capacity of 25 but its occupancy rate has been exceeded (776 percent). It has admitted 194 patients, 80 of which are dengue cases.
* Barotac Viejo District Hospital – It has an authorized bed capacity of 10 but its occupancy rate has been exceeded (770 percent). It has admitted 77 patients, 31 of which are dengue patients.
* Sara District Hospital – It has an authorized bed capacity of 50 but its occupancy rate has been exceeded (532 percent). It has admitted 266 patients, 97 of which are dengue cases.
* Federico Roman Tirador Sr. Memorial District Hospital in Janiuay – It has an authorized bed capacity of 25 but its occupancy rate has been exceeded (428 percent). It has admitted 107 patients, 61 of which are dengue patients.
* Don Valerio Palmares Sr. Memorial District Hospital in Passi City – It has a bed capacity of 25 but its occupancy rate has been exceeded (336 percent). It has admitted 84 patients, 29 percent of which are dengue patients.
Latest figures from the Provincial Health Office (PHO) showed Iloilo having 4,306 dengue patients from January to June 29, with 20 deaths.
This is 777 percent higher than the 491 cases with two deaths recorded in the same period last year.
The 10 municipalities with the most number of cases are Pototan (428 cases with three deaths), Passi City (356 cases with one death), Calinog (252 cases), Concepcion (244 cases with four deaths), Ajuy (182 cases), Cabatuan (181 cases with one death), Lambunao (162 cases with one death), Sara (150 cases with one death), Carles (132 cases), and Janiuay (128).
The nine other dengue-related deaths are in Santa Barbara (one death from 127 cases), Dueñas (one death from 113 cases), Pavia (two deaths from 106 cases), Bingawan (two deaths from 105 cases), New Lucena (one death from 94 cases), and Banate (two deaths from 82 cases).
The other district hospitals in the province are:
* Aleosan District Hospital in Alimodian
* Rep. Pedro G. Trono Memorial District Hospital in Guimbal
* Ramon Tabiana Memorial District Hospital in Cabatuan
* Ramon D. Duremdes District Hospital in Dumangas
* Dr. Ricardo Y. Ladrido Memorial District Hospital in Lambunao
Just recently, the Philippine Red Cross donated to the provincial government 60 folding beds for distribution to district hospitals.
“It evaluated our hospitals and saw that patients were already occupying hallways and utilizing folding beds,” said Dr. Maria Socorro Colmenares Quiñon, provincial health officer./PN