Local officials and health authorities raised concern on the alleged impending collapse of the province’s health care system because of the continuous increase in the number of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) cases due to the emergence of the more infectious Delta variant.
Gov. Melchor D. Diclas stated that the Benguet General Hospital (BeGH) was compelled to start using tents within the hospital compound just to ensure that it can accommodate the increasing number of COVID-19 patients being admitted to the hospital daily.
He added that even the 5 district hospitals and the various temporary treatment and monitoring facilities (TTMFs) around the province have reached their maximum capacity that is why asymptomatic and mild patients are now being considered for home isolation if their residences qualify for such an option.
The governor claimed that the provincial government is rushing the hiring of 10 new medical officers to replace the 8 doctors of the BeGH who refused to renew their contracts to serve the hospital to ensure that non-COVID-19 and COVID-19 patients being treated in the health facility will be given appropriate medical attention for them to be able to recover.
According to him, there is a need to restrict the movement of people inside and outside the province to help in containing the spread of the deadly virus, especially that the province recorded 10 Delta variant cases, to avoid the eventual collapse of the local health care system.
While being confined in tents might further cause inconvenience to the patients who will be temporarily housed in the same, the local chief explained that the BeGH administration has to take the said option rather than deny patients from being treated in the hospital which will surely have a negative impact on the way COVID-19 cases is being handled by the health facility.
BeGH is a 150-bed secondary hospital being managed and operated by the provincial government and which serves as the primary health care facility in the province. The 5 district hospitals being managed by the provincial government also include the Northern Benguet District Hospital in Buguias, the Atok District Hospital in Atok, the Kapangan Community Medicare Center in Kapangan, the Itogon District Hospital in Itogon and the Dennis Molintas Memorial Hospital in Bokod.
Diclas, who is a physician by profession, urged health workers to continue their dedication and passion to render service to the people of Benguet and for them to hold on amidst the difficult situation that they are experiencing in the ongoing battle against the deadly virus as their unwavering and uncompromising services are very much needed at this time due to the emerging threat of the Delta variant.
He assured the health workers that the concerned government agencies and the local governments are doing their best to provide the required medical supplies and equipment for them to sustain the delivery of quality health care services to the people in the province.
There are now 2, 076 active cases while 337 died in the province of Benguet based on the latest COVID-19 bulletin of DOH Cordillera.