BY IME SORNITO
ILOILO – Swamped with dengue patients, hospitals need more doctors. Gov. Arthur Defensor Jr. urged physicians in private practice to use their spare time volunteering.
The 11 district hospitals here and one provincial government hospital have a total of 165 doctors, data from the provincial government’s Hospital Management Office (HMO) showed. They are being overwhelmed with 5,435 dengue cases (1,148 patients are confined in hospitals).
“I want to take this opportunity sa pag-ayo sa mga doctors based sa probinsya kag syudad sang Iloilo. Kinahanglan naton ang ila bulig,” said Defensor.
They may also apply to become government physicians, he added.
HMO data showed the provincial government having 2,581 hospital personnel. Of these, 165 are doctors and 696 are nurses. The rest are medical technologists, nursing attendants, utility personnel and other support staff.
“Budlay mag-hire doctors pero sa nurses indi mabudlay,” said Defensor.
Several nurses signified intention to volunteer in hospitals with the most number of dengue cases, he revealed.
One of these district hospitals is the Jesus M. Colmenares Memorial District Hospital in Barangay Tingui-an, Balasan town.
This 25-bed capacity hospital has, as of yesterday, 326 confined patients (274 are dengue cases), HMO data showed.
Just this July 15, the Department of Health (DOH) in Western Visayas started deploying medical personnel to government hospitals across the region teeming with dengue patients.
The initial deployment was 228 personnel – 16 doctors, 24 medical technologists and 189 nurses – from various rural health units (RHUs), according to Dr. Marlyn Convocar, regional director.
DOH has declared a region-wide dengue outbreak on Monday.
Of the 16 DOH doctors so far deployed, Iloilo province got only three, plus three medical technologists and 23 nurses.
With the shortage of rooms and beds in district hospitals, Defensor also sought the help of private hospitals in Iloilo City.
“They are willing to accommodate dengue patients from the province in case there is a spillover. In case of emergency, they are willing to expand (their capacity),” said Defensor.
These hospitals were the following: St. Paul’s Hospital Iloilo, Iloilo Mission Hospital, Iloilo Doctor’s Hospital, QualiMed Hospital – Iloilo, Metro Iloilo Hospital and Medical Center, The Medical City – Iloilo, and Medicus Medical Center.
Defensor assured them that Iloilo province’s indigent patients are covered by PhilHealth.
The provincial government and the national government can also subsidize other charges not covered by PhilHealth, stressed Defensor./PN