By Minerva Newman
CEBU CITY – The Department of Health- Central Visayas for Health Development (DOH CVHD) has highlighted and acknowledged the deficiencies of the overall health capacity of Central Visayas medical facilities, but noted that these deficiencies were already present even before the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.
DOH-7 official public statement said that private hospitals in Cebu have started to refuse admission to patients with COVID-19 due to lack of bed capacities as cases rose to 4,591 as of June 15.
DOH-7 Regional Director Dr.Jaime Bernadas said that they have already reached out to private hospitals to develop mechanisms to expand or increase bed capacity and admissions. The major private hospitals here have committed to expand their bed capacity to up to 30 percent.
Bernadas bared that the DOH, for its part, has also augmented human resources for health to assist with the hospitals’ lack of health care providers.
“With the proposed bed expansion capacity in the private hospitals, we will be looking now at 548 additional isolation beds and government hospitals to also expand their isolation beads to 364,” Bernadas said.
This expansion of bed capacities will cater to severe to critical cases of COVID-19, Bernadas added, and that this will have to be matched by the presence of facilities that will handle cases that manifest only mild symptoms.
He went on that facilities for isolation of asymptomatic cases must also be expanded in Metro Cebu. To date there are three facilities for COVID-19 mild symptoms cases with a combined capacity of 338 isolation beds.
These actions, according to Bernadas, were guided by the results of the Rapid Antibody Test (RAT) in Metro Cebu revealing that 2.2 percent of the population had been exposed to COVID-19.
“Surge capacity plans have been done and will be regularly updated to ensure no patient is refused admission in the region,” Bernadas added.