DPWH shifts focus on building modular hospitals from COVID-19 isolation centers

Jacque Manabat, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Apr 19 2021 09:01 PM

An off-site modular hospital, with a 110-bed capacity at the Quezon Institute in Quezon City opens in an inauguration on April 6, 2021. Mark Demayo, ABS-CBN News

MANILA - The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) has shifted its focus on building more modular hospitals as health facilities declare full capacity amid the rise in COVID-19 cases since March.

DPWH Secretary and Isolation Czar Mark Villar said isolation facilities in the country, which are 70% occupied at the moment, only have basic amenities that are not enough to treat moderate to severe COVID-19 cases.

The modular hospitals, which only take 45 days to construct, will be crucial given that hospitals could hardly accommodate more patients.

“Kaya nakatutok kami sa modular kasi mas marami siyang faclities for COVID treatment. Basic lang po yung isolation center, kasi room lang siya - CR, may aircon, may kama. Very basic," Villar said.

"Yung modular facilities, may negative pressure at oxygen supply ang bawat kwarto. May amenities like nurse call button and may additional equipment na pang-treat sa COVID. Kaya mas extensive po ang modular hospitals," he added.

The DPWH aims to lower the isolation bed utilization to 60%.

But there is also a challenge on the availability of health workers to man the facility, and the medical equipment to operationalize the rooms.

“Challenge din yan (health workers availability). Kaya recently, meron na workers na galing sa Visayas na pumunta dito para tumulong. Nakatutok ang DOH dun. Kami naman po sa DPWH, malaki ang pipeline namin para sa modular hospital building actvities," Villar said.

The agency has recently completed the construction of modular facilities at the Quezon Institute Hospital with 110 bed capacity, Lung Center Hospital with 16 bed capacity, and Dr Jose Rodriguez Hospital with 22 bed capacity.

The DPWH is slated to open a modular wing at the National Kidney Translate Institute in Quezon City with 60 beds and 2 units in Batangas City with 44 beds.

It will also open a similar facility in Southern Medical Center and Las Pinas General Hospital with 44 bed capacity each; and V. Luna Medical Center, Ospital ng Maynila, Pasig City General Hospital with 22 bed capacity each.

Additional 44 bed capacity will be built in Quezon Institute Hospital, and additional 110 beds at the Lung Center.

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