COVID-19 hospital admission difficult in some regions, says referral system
The country's COVID-19 referral said on Friday it was receiving reports of difficulties in securing hospital admission for coronavirus sufferers in some regions.
The One Hospital Command Center receives about 400 to 500 calls for assistance a day, unchanged from August, said medical officer Dr. Marylaine Padlan.
"Pagdating naman po sa mga nahihirapan ma-admit sa mga ospital... meron pa ring kahirapan po doon sa Region 4-A, sa Region 3, and NCR dahil madalas po sila ang nari-receive naming tawag," she said in a televised public briefing.
(When it comes to difficulty in getting admitted to hospitals, there is difficulty in Region 4-A, Region 3, and NCR because the calls we receive are frequently from them.)
Hospital bed occupancy was at about 69.8 percent in Metro Manila, 76.4 percent in Calabarzon, and 75.5 percent in Central Luzon as of Sept. 15, based on the health department's online tracker.
Padlan noted the healthcare utilization rate is also at high risk in other regions like Ilocos and Cagayan Valley.
Difficulties in hospital admissions were also reported in Caraga and the Cordilleras, she said.
Patients with severe or critical severe symptoms may get admitted to hospitals in 1 or 2 hours or might have to wait for 12 to 24 hours, Padlan said.
She said this depended on the patient's location, the availability of an ambulance, and vacancies in hospitals.
"What we need to understand po is that bed availability… is dynamic. At one time, puwedeng may bakante, pero we need to think na meron pong patient sa ER na ia-admit din po," Padlan said.
"Hindi po natin masasabi kung bakante talaga or punuan po kaya we always countercheck," she continued.
(At one time, it may be vacant, but we need to think that there's an ER patient that could be admitted. We cannot really say if it's vacant or full so we need to always countercheck.)
The Philippines, which is fighting one of Asia's worst coronavirus outbreaks, recorded 21,261 new infections on Thursday, with confirmed cases at 2.3 million. Its death toll climbed by 277 to more than 36,000 overall.
It reported its biggest increase of 26,303 new infections last Saturday.
Government on Thursday started testing in Metro Manila a shift to granular lockdowns from wide-scale mobility controls in a bid to revive the pandemic-hit economy.
— With a report from Reuters