Despite the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) infection of at least 117 out of its 180 health personnel, the Philippine Orthopedic Center will continue to save lives and serve the public amid the pandemic, its chief, Dr. Jose Pujalte Jr., said on Saturday.
“This is what we signed up for. This is what being a doctor and health worker means in the time of pandemic: that we man the front lines and save lives even as we put our own in peril,” Pujalte said, adding that he himself tested positive, with his “current oxygen saturation hovering in the low 90s and catching his breath.”
He said his Chief of Clinics also tested positive for Covid-19 and this has become the fate of a lot of health workers in the Philippine Orthopedic Center.
Pujalte, however, noted that even well-run hospitals, such as the POC, as well as the most progressive countries, could be hit hard by the Covid-19 crisis.
“Even our best of efforts can be thwarted by this virus whose dimensions we have only recently learned and whose shape keeps shifting and changing. And whose features keep morphing,” he said. “That even a government that strives to give its best to its citizens will experience incredibly humbling moments of defeat.”
He added it has become clear now that this virus asks “the best of us if we are to defeat it and have it under control.”
“It asks that we face it with great courage,” he said. “And that even as we physically distance ourselves, we remain united in our hearts and minds against it.”
As he holds on to strong will and courage to overcome Covid-19, Pujalte reassured the public that they will remain true to the Hippocratic Oath.
“And that even as we take care of our own, our doors remain open and that we are ready to receive and give excellent medical care to anyone who needs it,” he said.
The POC, which has a proud 76-year history of service to the Filipino people where fully 98 percent of those it serves are from the marginalized sector, will continue to serve the public as it manages its personnel who have been afflicted by the virus.