The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the Philippine National Police (PNP) announced Friday, Sept. 24, that they will deploy medical teams to augment the healthcare systems of hospitals in the National Capital Region (NCR) that were swamped with coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases.
For the military, Colonel Fatima Claire Navarro, AFP surgeon general, said two teams will come from the Philippine Army (PA) while one team each will be provided by the AFP Health Services Command (HSC), Philippine Navy (PN), and Philippine Air Force (PAF).
Each team will be composed of one doctor, one nurse, and three aidmen.
She said the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) for COVID-19 will determine which medical facilities in the NCR will be augmented by the AFP’s medical contingent.
“The deployment, which is similar to the AFP’s past missions in Cebu and Davao in 2020, is over and above its current distribution of medial frontline workers in mega swabbing and quarantine facilities in Metro Manila,” Navarro said.
Meanwhile, Gen. Guillermo Eleazar, PNP Chief, has committed the services of the PNP Medical Reserve Force to the hospitals in NCR that need help.
“The Philippine National Police is committing its medical reserve force for augmentation to both public and private medical facilities amid reports of full capacity in hospitals and shortage of medical personnel,” he said.
Currently, there are more or less 150 members of the PNP Medical Reserve Force (MRF).
The Chief PNP said that they will also conduct accounting of police personnel with medical background in order to augment the PNP’s MRF.
The military and police’s assistance came after President Duterte ordered them to deploy members of their medical corps following the spike in COVID-19 infections among healthcare workers.
The surge reportedly affected the operations of not only the public hospitals but also the biggest private hospitals in NCR.