Bacolod Mayor Evelio Leonardia has requested the National Inter-Agency Task Force (NIATF) Against COVID-19 to send augmentation personnel to Bacolod to address the serious shortage of nurses and other healthcare workers (HCWs) in private hospitals, City Administrator Em Ang, executive director of the City’s Emergency Operations Center (EOC), said yesterday.
After personally requesting the help of Secretary Carlito Galvez, chief implementer of the National Action Plan Against COVID-19 and the third highest official in the NIATF, on this matter, Leonardia also wrote to him on September 23 to reiterate this urgent concern, a press release from the Bacolod Public Information Office said.
The mayor said Bacolod hospitals need six doctors for the Midway Referral Facility, 288 nurses for the city’s emergency treatment center and isolation facilities, 18 radiology technicians, 26 medical technologists, 24 respiratory therapists, and 30 housekeeping staff.
“The serious shortage of nurses and healthcare workers, especially in private hospitals, is still a problem. In this connection, may I, therefore, humbly request for your assistance by providing us the additional personnel required to capacitate and enable the full operation of hospital isolation units,” Leonardia said in his letter.
The availability of functional hospital isolation rooms remains to be “the biggest challenge” for Bacolod as it continues its contact tracing and targeted testing to identify and isolate COVID-19 cases, the press release said.
Meanwhile, the construction of the Midway Referral System in the 32-room isolation facility being built by the Department of Public Works and Highways in Barangay Alijis, is among the measures aimed at addressing the problem of hospital congestion, it added.
As of October 4, there were already 154 admitted COVID-19 patients in Bacolod hospitals, making the capacity utilization rate reach 77 percent.*