Issue of July 25, 2021
Mt. Province

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74% of Benguet’s beds devoted to COVID-19 related illnesses
by PNA

LA TRINIDAD, Benguet – The provincial government has devoted over 70 percent of the bed capacity of the Benguet General Hospital for Covid-19 related illnesses.

Dr. Meliarazon Dulay, BeGH chief and the province’s Covid-19 point person, said 111 out of the 150 beds of the hospital are used either for Covid-19 positive patients or Covid-19 suspected patients.

Aside from what used to be Covid i-isolation area, which was 30 percent of the total bed capacity allotted in 2020, she said they have increased it by converting private rooms.

The doctor said they also converted wards as Intensive Care Unit wards for severe or critical Covid patients.

“We cannot refuse any patient that is why we constantly adjusted,” she said, adding there are those in the Covid area who are asymptomatic or mild cases because they were found positive after testing as a requirement for a procedure or other medical needs.

“We cannot send them to the temporary treatment and monitoring facility even if they are asymptomatic because they have other needs not provided there so they have to be in the hospital,” Dulay said.

She said aside from allocating more beds for Covid patients, the hospital has also invested in more oxygen tanks and has added ventilators.

BeGH uses an average of 160 oxygen tanks per day for the patients. It also buys the anti-viral drug, Remdesivir, used to treat Covid patients.

The hospital management is also investing in manpower. From 300 permanent personnel, an additional 50 casual staff were hired to help.

Dulay said the Department of Health Cordillera also assigned 105 augmentation personnel aside from the provincial government’s 75 medical staff, bringing to 530 the total personnel of the BeGH providing services for Covid-19 patients and those requiring non-Covid medical care.

She said assuring quality medical service is a challenge considering lack of manpower, but they continue to perform their duty to provide the medical needs of the people even amid the risk they face.

Gov. Melchor Diclas in an earlier interview said being a province-run medical facility, the local government gives an annual subsidy of P40 million.

“This year, we have already allocated P100M to cover for the operation of the hospital,” he said.

He said they continue to invest and prepare facilities to assure residents they will not sacrifice health because of lack of resources.

“We will sacrifice infrastructure service if we have to so that we can serve our people and give them the medical care they need,” he said.

Diclas, a surgeon by profession, said with the threat of the Delta variant, the protection of people is anchored on the continued observance of health and safety protocols and vaccination.

As of July 18, the DOH-CAR reported Benguet is at moderate risk category in terms of health care utilization with 64.12 percent bed occupancy.

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