SPMC to reopen surgical services July 1

Published June 27, 2020, 12:00 AM

by manilabulletin_admin

By Antonio Colina IV

DAVAO CITY – The Southern Philippines Medical Center (SPMC) will reopen its surgical services on July 1 after a closure of several months following the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak.

Dr. Ricardo Audan, chief of clinics and health emergency of Southern Philippines Medical Center (SPMC), said officials of the government hospital discussed early this week the reopening of the surgical department as there were many patients waiting to undergo operation.

“It’s not forever that we will close our services even though there is no vaccine, even though there is no medicine. We really have to open some of the services, especially the elective surgery, because there are a lot of patients already waiting to be operated to alleviate their pains,” Audan said.

He added that the surgical department has adopted protocols and guidelines for patients and doctors, who will do the surgery, to eliminate the risk of transmitting the disease.

Audan said walk-in patients would not be admitted unless they make prior appointment with the hospital for the schedule of their surgery.

But he added patients would be required to undergo a 14-day quarantine, and would be subjected to reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) test on the 15th day to see if they test negative.

COVID-19 positive patients will not be qualified for operation, and will be referred for isolation, he said.

Audan said the doctors would also be required to undergo RT-PCR tests.

Under the new normal, Audan added SPMC would gradually reopen other department, including the dermatology, ENT (eyes, nose, and throat), ophthalmology, family medicine, and pediatrics.

He said these services were currently available only through teleconsultation.

“These are not really closed because they are doing teleconsultation. The majority of the departments are doing teleconsultation. What are closed are the face-to-face consultations,” Audan said.

For several months, the SPMC had been the only hospital in Mindanao that could process COVID-19 tests through RT-PCR.

At present, Davao Region has three COVID-19 testing facilities, with the addition of Davao One World Diagnostic Center Inc. in Davao City and Davao Regional Medical Center in Tagum City, Davao del Norte.