Symbol of hope: PH Red Cross sets up emergency field hospitals to save more lives

Published May 7, 2021, 2:30 PM

by Merlina Hernando-Malipot

The surge in coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases continues to overwhelm the country’s healthcare system, leaving hospitals scrambling to accommodate patients who need urgent medical attention.

PH Red Cross / Manila Bulletin

Recognizing the need for more health facilities in these challenging times, Philippine Red Cross (PRC) Chairman and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Senator Richard Gordon ordered for the immediate deployment of the emergency field hospitals (EHFs) to address this problem.

“We are in a war situation against COVID-19,” Gordon said. “The health care system in the NCR [National Capital Region]-plus region is totally challenged due to the increasing cases of COVID-positive individuals,” he added.

Through the EHFs of the PRC, Gordon said that more patients needing immediate health care will be able to receive the help that they need.

PRC noted that the purpose of these EHFs is to save lives, “alleviate human suffering, and uplift the dignity of the people.”

These tents, PRC added, also serve as a “symbol of hope to our fellow Filipinos.”

To date, PRC was able to open its EFHs with 18 tents at the Lung Center of the Philippines (LCP) compound. This, Gordon said, is in response to the overwhelming number of people who need urgent medical care and hospital admission.

PRC’s EFH serves as an extension for LCP as a response to the increasing demand for beds in the hospital. The EHF is expected to help LCP free bed spaces – thus, allowing admission of more severe cases in need of immediate hospital care.

Photo from Philippine Red Cross

Gordon said that 18 PRC EHF tents that were established at the LCP are equipped with 64- 100 beds with medical equipment such as oxygen tanks, ECG machines, PPV and Intubation set, Automated External Defibrillator, and other basic ward facilities. These will attend to the needs of patients with mild to moderate symptoms.

To ensure proper ventilation, PRC’s EFHs are also equipped with air-conditioning units.


Aside from catering to the needs of patients who contracted COVID-19, Gordon said that the PRC also plans to put up hospital tents that would serve regular patients.

“To reduce the desperate waiting times of our people, part and parcel of the medical armoring of the Philippine Red Cross where we can add tents and hospitals,” Gordon said. “The second part that I want to do now is a hospital tent with [an] operating room, X-ray and etc. for non-COVID patients,” he added.

Meanwhile, Gordon also underscored the need for people to come and work together to curb the further spread of the disease.

“The PRC calls everyone together in this fight against the COVID-19 pandemic,” Gordon said. “By leveraging our impact on the structures of power, we bring hope to a society that needs it,” he ended.