A total of 12 Filipino doctors have already died fighting the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic as of Sunday, an official of the Philippine Medical Association (PMA) said.
“We still have some other patients confined and fighting the illness at this time. Hopefully, we don’t add more to the list of deaths among our practitioners, our physicians,” Dr. Oscar Tinio, chair of the association’s commission on legislation said.
“We’re still grieving but, at this point, we cannot do anything about what has lapsed already, what has been done already,” Tinio also said.
Tinio has estimated that more than 5 percent of the country’s health workers are also on quarantine due to the nature of their work in directly dealing with the disease.
The PMA official said that the doctor-to-patient ratio currently stands at 1:40,000, far from the ideal 1:10,000, as he underscored the need of protecting all healthcare professionals in the country amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Tino also said the country does not have enough nurses, as they would rather work somewhere else.
“In Metro Manila, we have an over-concentration of physicians. In other areas, we have relatively very few doctors in remote areas of Luzon and all over the country as well,” he said.
Tinio also said “definitely, it’s not fair” to offer them only P500 per day in allowance.
According to the Department of Health (DOH), 690 individuals have signified interest, as of Sunday noon, to become HealthCare Warriors.
Tinio has urged the DOH to augment the supply of medical equipment in public and private hospitals such as face masks and personal protective equipment (PPEs).
“We’re willing to procure them, (but) they’re not available. The government, probably they would have supplies available,” he said.
He also thanked those who have been giving support to health workers and frontline personnel.
“I would like to recognize and thank all those who have been active in providing for assistance and services to the medical professionals, all other healthcare providers as well, especially those people who have been giving us donations in the form of PPEs or food or anything to that effect,” Tinio said.
For his part, Private Hospitals Association of the Philippines, Inc. (PHAPI) president Dr. Rustico Jimenez also called for enough supply of personal protective equipment in hospital to protect health workers from getting infected with coronavirus.
“Yung private hospitals po ay walang nakukuhang napakalaking bulto ng kailangan ng ating mga frontliners,” Jimenez said.
“Iniiwasan po natin na meron pang mamatay. Latest namin pong count is about 12 na po ang doktor na namamatay,” he added.
Jimenez also advised those who would like to donate PPEs to deliver the items straight to nearest hospitals.
“Ang pakiusap namin, ‘wag na po i-hold sa mga warehouse ng DOH at ipamigay na lamang ng ipamigay para makasalba tayo ng frontliners natin,” he said.
The PMA on Friday reported that 10 doctors died due to COVID-19./Stacy Ang