Amid influx of patients, NKTI says not closing emergency room

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Nov 25 2022 10:14 AM | Updated as of Nov 25 2022 10:25 AM

The emergency room of National Kidney and Transplant Institute in Quezon City reaches full capacity, Nov. 24, 2022. The NKTI is filled with patients on dialysis, including those with leptospirosis and COVID-19. Mark Demayo, ABS-CBN News
The emergency room of National Kidney and Transplant Institute in Quezon City reaches full capacity, Nov. 24, 2022. The NKTI is filled with patients on dialysis, including those with leptospirosis and COVID-19. Mark Demayo, ABS-CBN News

MANILA — The National Kidney and Transplant Institute is not closing its emergency room despite a recent influx of patients and an ongoing staffing shortage, its hospital management said Friday.

According to NKTI executive director Dr. Rose Liquete, its ER is handling an average of 100 patients daily, which is 3 times its capacity.

"We are not closing the hospital," she told ANC's "Headstart".

"It's just we are appealing to the public that if they need immediate management, they have options to go to other hospital because of the queue in the emergency room."

The NKTI is currently strained with patients on dialysis, including those with leptospirosis and COVID-19.

Its charity and private rooms are also filled up, Liquete said.

The NKTI is tapping other hospitals such as the East Avenue Medical Center and Tala Hospital to accommodate other patients.

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In the interview, Liquete lamented they are facing a shortage of nurses.

"We have applicants but we have more nurses who are migrating or going abroad for greener pasture. I think that's also true for most hospitals, even in private hospitals," she said.

Liquete also said they couldn't open the gymnasium to cater more patients due to a limited number of personnel.

"You know ang ugali ng mga Filipino kinakaya even if we are undermanned," she said. "We have a lot of personnel who go on duty overtime. Kinakaya because this is our work really."

In an earlier statement, the DOH said it was in close coordination with the NKTI to address the situation.

The agency has tasked a health undersecretary to assess the situation and ensure incoming patients would be referred to nearby hospitals.

For non-urgent health concerns, the public is advised to call the National Patient Navigation and Referral Center or One Hospital Command at 0919-977-3333; 0917-878-7418; (02) 886-505-00, PLDT-1555 (Option 2), 0915-777-7777.