Private hospitals are now overwhelmed handling COVID-19 patients in the Philippines, as rising number of cases continue, and bed-capacity for COVID is now considered in “danger zone.”
At least four hospitals have reported cases of “full capacity” in COVID cases.
St. Lukes Medical Center in Quezon City, its branch in Bonifacio Global City in Taguig City, Makati Medical Center (MMC), and The Medical City in Pasig City— said they have reached their full capacity of allocated intensive care unit (ICU) beds for COVID-19 patients.
“Halos pare-pareho din po ngayon (ang mga hospital) kasi nga ho nag-increase ‘yung ating positive na mga pasyente parang katulad noong una,” PHAPI president Dr. Rustico Jimenez said.
Jimenez made the statement when asked about hospitals’ status after St. Luke’s Medical Center in Quezon City and in Taguig City, as well as the Makati Medical Center, declared full capacity for COVID-19 intensive care unit beds.
However, Jimenez clarified that bed-capacity for non-COVID patients in private hospitals are not yet full.
Jimenez said that many patients with mild cases would rather stay in private hospitals than in isolation facilities run by the government.
“Kaya lang po karamihan ng mga pasyente ayaw naman lumipat doon dahil natatakot, dahil siyempre malayo sa bahay nila,” he said.
“Usually mga pasyente pumupunta doon sa private hospital na malapit sa bahay nila e, para madadalaw sila o mabibigyan ng pagkain. So ang nangyayari, full packed ‘yung mga private hospitals,” Jimenez said.
Jimenez also confirmed that the capacity of some COVID-19 facilities in National Capital Region (NCR) hospitals are in the “danger zone.”
On the other hand, an official of the National Kidney and Transplant Institute (NKTI) said on Tuesday that its bed capacity for patients with COVID-19 had reached a “danger zone,” even as cases of the respiratory disease in the country continued to spike.
During an interview with ABS-CBN’s TeleRadyo, NKTI executive director Dr. Rose Marie Liquete said about 89 percent of beds for COVID-19 patients are occupied, while the emergency room that can accommodate only 44 patients has been expanded and recently tended to 120 patients.
“Nasa danger zone na kami… super danger zone (We’re in the danger, super danger zone.),” Liquete said.
NKTI’s COVID patients often have comorbidities like kidney problems and need dialysis, machines for which are now running almost the entire day and only get to rest during contamination, Liquete said.
NKTI also saw a “significant increase” in the number of its personnel infected with the disease in the past 2 weeks, the hospital said in a statement on Monday.
On top of that, Liquete also said some of their nurses and doctors have quit their jobs due to fear of getting infected. Their families also have advised these nurses and doctors to quit their jobs due to such fear./Stacy Ang