Lone opposition Councilor Wilson Gamboa, Jr. after calling on media over the weekend and responding to interviews relative to a COVID-19 patient who died due to cardiac arrest in his home after no hospital would admit him, reiterated his demand for the City Government to immediately build adequate make-shift hospitals and negative-pressurized isolation facility accredited by the Department of Health (DOH) and PhilHealth, to be taken from the P800 million fund originally set aside to build an impractical and unserviceable Bacolod Coliseum.
Gamboa explained, “The Bacolod City Government is unresponsive of its people’s cry for help. Hospitals now are refusing admission because their isolation facilities are overwhelmed, health workers are exhausted or afraid therefore they resign.”
He added, “As of this writing, Bacolod now has almost 600 confirmed positive cases resulting from the mass testing conducted last week. How will the City respond to this? Mass testing is ineffective in the reduction of cases without an adequate and clinically managed isolation facilities to accommodate those found confirmed positive.”
Gamboa stressed, “Consistent with my manifestation on the floor during our Sangguniang Panglunsod (SP) regular session last August 25, 2020, the solution is to build adequate make-shift hospitals. This will unload our hospitals and therefore would readily admit critical to severe patients only. Our hospitals now are overwhelmed with patients from mild to moderate leaving severe and critical patients behind. Funds intended for the Coliseum or other infrastructure projects which are unnecessary at this time can be diverted to finance these projects.”
He likewise cited that as early as April 26, 2020, the City was in receipt of a position letter from the Philippine College of Physicians Negros Occidental Chapter asking among other for the building of dedicated COVID-19 fully equip hospital, financial aid for hemodialysis centers, adequate supply of hospital beds and other essential equipment.
Gamboa explained, “The City can also decide to do emergency hiring of trained health workers and doctors to serve in these make shift facilities but backed them with adequate Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs), appropriate salary schemes and isolation dormitories for their board and lodging.
“Do we have the money? Oh yes! The Coliseum budget of P800 million can be realigned. I envy the COVID-19 free City of Dumaguete that constructed in 60 days, a P46 million 34-negative pressurized room fully equip concrete isolation facility from their P98 million Bayanihan Act fund. They are quite transparent about it!” he also said.
Gamboa also explained that with all the money the City of Bacolod has, a negative pressurized room concrete facility accredited by DOH and PhilHealth can be built to support hospitals with severe cases and with such type of a safe facility, probability of health worker resignation can be significantly reduced.
In the meantime, he also stressed, “It is high time for the government to start procuring supplies of medicines such as Remdesivir and other COVID-19 related medicines recommended by the DOH-WHO for various types of cases from mild to moderate patients and relevant medicines for self-medication in homes with prescription by a specialist.” Also, Gamboa said, “I have manifested this last April 28, 2020. I asked “What is our “Critical Care Utilization Rate” proportional to the “Case Doubling Rate”? Bacolod government should conduct mapping of its 61 Barangays in terms of suspect, probable and confirmed cases and color code them. Government in other words should continually conduct an expanded testing application, conduct massive RT-PCR (swab) Testing at the same time, conduct inventory of the number of beds in our physical plants quarantines, number of ICU beds especially for indigents, sufficiency of equipment and availability of medicines.