Five-man Israeli health experts recommend 'improvement' in country's handling of COVID-19 patients

Published August 2, 2021, 6:48 PM

by Roy Mabasa

The five-man delegation composed of Israeli health experts has recommended to the Philippines the further improvement of the country’s systems and procedures in handling COVID-19 patients and for efficient infection control protocols and hospital management.

These recommendations were made during the exit conference of the delegation’s five-day visit to Manila at the behest of the Philippine government.

“I was highly impressed by their professionalism and I am sure that there are ways to improve the way you give healthcare to the cities,” head of the delegation Dr. Guy Choshen said in reference to Philippine health care workers who have shown professionalism in the face of challenges caused by the pandemic.

Aside from Chosen, the other members of the Israeli experts delegation were Shira Peleg, head nurse and nursing manager at the Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Center’s Emergency Department; Eyad Jeries, trauma coordinator at Galilee Medical Center; and Chaim Markos Rafalowski, disaster management coordinator at Magen David Adom (MDA).

At the conference, Dr. Choshen cited key factors that need to be considered in treating COVID-19 patients, which include the implementation of standard health care in DOH medical centers; the need to implement or articulate a patient’s discharge guidelines; allowing patients to be visited by their family in hospitals; and the implementation of critical patients’ restrictions, as well as infection control measures.

Dr. Choshen stressed the importance of pushing up the vaccination campaign of the Philippines as the “main way we can mitigate the pandemic.”

Chaim Markos Rafalowski stated that in Israel, they conduct a “national daily health team evaluation” where they gather more than 100 health professionals from different branches to discuss the current situation of their health care system.

“The objective of this is to understand the current situation and to identify the crisis and try to foresee where we are heading,” Rafalowski explained, adding that the most important aspect is to set up priorities for immediate action for the short and long-term healthcare system with regards to COVID-19.

For his part, Health Secretary Francisco Duque III said: “One of the impacts that we hope to be able to achieve in our unified strategy management against this pandemic is to bring down mortality rate perhaps less than 1 percent, if not less than .5 percent, as much as we can.”

Israel Embassy in the Philippine Charge d’Affaires Nir Balzam assured the Philippine government that his country will continue to assist the country in its fight against COVID-19.

“This is our second delegation, the first one focused on the vaccination rollout. We will continue the collaboration on a normal basis. We are working closely with the Philippine government,” he said.

Since the outbreak of the pandemic, Israel has granted assistance to the Philippines to help in its fight against COVID-19 consisting of personal protective equipment to the Department of National Defense and the Philippine National Police for use of their frontliners.

Education equipment were also donated to the Department of Education to aid distance learning. Israel also continues to share its experience and knowledge in emergency and pandemic response with the Philippines through webinars, courses, and joint meetings.