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Health system heading for breakdown unless steps are taken; Cong. Greg seeks regional DOH help

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BACOLOD CITY, Negros Occidental, Philippines – The local health system appears headed for a breakdown if steps are not taken soon to alleviate the situation.

“We are headed for a breakdown,” Vice Mayor El Cid Familiaran, chair of the local inter-agency task force here, told DNX amid reports of an increasing number of doctors and health frontliners being infected.

BREAKDOWN. Vice-Mayor El Cid Familiaran says that unless steps are taken to address the situation as more health workers are infected by the virus. | DNX Stock Photo

Various sources who asked not to be named had earlier told DNX some private hospitals are running out of manpower as medical staff are increasingly being isolated after being tested positive.

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One source said there are only three infectious diseases experts here who “can still be tapped” but did not explain further.

Physician Connie Rose Benjamin, however, told DNX the city is not yet headed for a total breakdown of its health service although she added doctors and nurses are being infected and have to be quarantined, taking them away from the frontlines.

Benjamin, who heads the provincial College of Physicians, said private hospitals like the Riverside Medical Center and the Bacolod Adventist Medical Center have had cases of doctors who were infected, according to a census they have conducted.

She is not certain about the other private medical facilities that have not made disclosures, however.

As this developed, the lone district solon, Greg Gasataya said he had already requested regional health chief Marilyn Convocar as early as last month about the dire situation in the city.

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Gasataya told DNX Convocar had already assured him that the regional DOH will be sending 20 nurses here.

Other essential health workers like medical technologists will also be hired by the DOH, Gasataya quoted Convocar as having said.

The public Corazon Locsin Montelibano Memorial Regional Hospital had earlier been plagued by manpower problems, forcing its medical director, Julius Drilon, to shut down some of its essential services.

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Julius D. Mariveles
Julius D. Mariveles
An amateur cook who has a mean version of humba, the author has recently tried to make mole negra, the Mexican sauce he learned by watching shows of master chef Rick Bayless. A journalist since 19, he has worked in the newsrooms of radio, local papers, and Manila-based news organizations. A stroke survivor, he now serves as executive editor of DNX.

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