Public hospitals increase Covid-19 bed capacity

Public hospitals in various provinces and highly urbanized cities (HUCs) of Western Visayas have increased their bed capacity dedicated to the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) cases.

In a virtual presser recently, Dr. Bea Camille Natalaray, spokesperson for the Department of Health Western Visayas Center for Health Development (DOH WV CHD), said every time there is an increase in cases, the Covid-19 dedicated bed capacity of private hospitals should be increased to at least 30 percent and 50 percent for public hospitals.

“In the previous weeks, our health care utilization rate (HCUR) in Western Visayas was at low risk. Currently, we are at moderate risk, which shows that our cases have increased,” she said.

The regional situation report showed that as of Aug. 29, about 61 percent of the 609 Covid-19 ward beds, 62 percent of the 239 intensive care unit (ICU) beds, and 64 percent of the 1,461 isolation beds are occupied.

Based on their health system capacity monitoring as of Aug. 29, public hospitals dedicate around 54.45 percent of their bed capacity to Covid-19 and 17.35 percent for private hospitals.

“Our public hospitals in the province are compliant with our 50 percent required in case there is an increase in cases,” she said.

Natalaray said they not only look at the HCUR but also the health human resource and logistics and provide augmentation to help local government units (LGUs) and hospitals prepare in catering to Covid-19 cases.

She added DOH has already hired 258 nurses, 35 doctors, 43 medical technologists, 15 radio technologists, 54 nursing attendants, 20 administrative assistants, six respiratory therapists, four ambulance drivers, 11 laboratory technicians, six pharmacists, three midwives, three laboratory aides, 10 utility workers, and 10 medical equipment technician.

Natalaray said the increase in cases could be attributed to various factors, such as observance of the minimum public health standards (MPHS) and administrative control in workplaces.

She said transmission is now being monitored to have come from workplaces, community gatherings, and other unnecessary super spreader events.

The variants of concern namely Alpha, Beta, and Delta that are already present in the region is an additional factor, she said.

“These types of variants are associated with increased transmission,” she added. (PNA)