As COVID-19 cases rise, doctors yet to decide on asking for 'timeout'

Rose Carmelle Lacuata, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Sep 02 2021 02:18 AM

MANILA - Doctors are still weighing the pros and cons of asking for a new "timeout" as the number of COVID-19 cases in the country continue to increase.

According to Dr. Maricar Limpin, president of the Philippine College of Physicians, doctors are already suffering from fatigue due to the sheer number of patients in the hospitals.

"Hindi ko na masabing kayang-kaya, ano, katulad noong mga nakaraang araw kasi talagang medyo nakakapagod na. Maski ako, nararamdaman ko na 'yung pagod. In fact, ang feeling na namin, nasusuka na kami. Ganyan talaga 'yung pakiramdam namin. Ibig sabihin, medyo nahihirapan na kami," she told Teleradyo Wednesday.

(I cannot say that we can still handle it, like in the past days, because it's really tiring. I myself feel tired. In fact, we feel like we are about to throw up. That's how we feel right now. This means it's becoming more difficult for us.)

"Ginagawa lang namin ang lahat ng aming makakaya para patuloy naming pagsilbihan ang mamamayang Filipino," she added.

(We are just doing everything we can to continue serving the public.)

Limpin said that aside from the sheer number of patients, doctors also suffer from emotional fatigue when they are forced to decide on the fate of their patients due to lack of medical equipment.

"Yung isa pang ano namin, na dapat hindi namin pinoproblema, na minsan kailangang may mga gawin kaming desisyon na ayaw namin," she said.

(We also worry about making decisions that we don't want to make.)

"Katulad ng mga kasamahan namin sa Cebu, at sa ibang lugar, nagsasabi na rin, na minsan sila pa 'yung nagdedecide ng kung sino sa mga pasyente 'yung pwedeng malagay sa ventilator, respirator, dahil kulang sa ventilator na," Limpin added.

(Some of our colleagues in Cebu and in other places, they tell us that they sometimes have to decide on who among the patients should be given the ventilator, respirator, because there are not enough ventilators.)

She also lamented that doctors and other health workers have to worry about bringing home the virus.

Despite these difficulties, Limpin said they have yet to decide whether to ask for a new "timeout" from the government, similar to what the medical community asked for last year.

"Hindi pa kami masyadong makapag-ano, makapagdecide kasi pinag-uusapan pa rin namin. Medyo mahabang usapin ito ano, pagdating dito sa pagtawag ng timeout. Tulad din noong dati, noong nagtawag kami ng timeout, hindi naman kami 'yung kaagad, parang isang saglit lang nakapagdesisyon kami. Hindi. Kasi kailangan talagang pag-usapan nang mabuti, matingnan namin lahat ng aspeto before kami tumawag ng timeout," she explained.

(We have not yet decided because we are still talking about it. This is a long process, calling for a timeout. Just like before when we called for a timeout, we didn't just decide. We have to talk about it and look at all the aspects before we call for a timeout.)

"Kaming mga doktor, ayaw naming dumagdag pa sa ingay. Bakit? Kasi nandito na tayo sa pandemic na ito. We are in a battle, maingay na as it is. Kung dadagdag pa kami sa ingay, baka medyo hindi na maging maganda. Kaya talagang we are weighing things para talagang malaman namin kung ano talaga 'yung plan of action na gagawin namin," Limpin said.

(We doctors, we don't want to add to the noise. Why? Because we are in this pandemic. We are in a battle. It's noisy as it is. It might not be good if we add to the noise. This is why we are weighing things so that we'll know what our plan of action should be.)

Healthcare workers have been protesting to call for the release of benefits they are entitled to under the law.

The number of COVID-19 cases should decrease to help ease the tiredness of the healthcare workers.

"Ang kailangan talaga ay mapababa natin itong kaso, the number of cases. That's the only way na medyo gagaan ang aming pakiramdam," Limpin said.

(What we need is for the cases to go down. That's the only way to make us feel a bit better.)

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As of Wednesday, the Philippines recorded 14,216 new COVID-19 cases, bringing the total number of cases to 2,003,955 since the pandemic started.