THREE major private hospitals in Metro Manila on Monday said they could no longer accept Covid-19 patients as their dedicated intensive care unit beds have reached full capacity.
The St. Luke’s Medical Center in Quezon City (SLMC-QC), St. Luke’s Global City (SLMC-GC) in Taguig and Makati Medical Center said they have run out of beds for Covid patients.
“In this regard, we request the public to consider bringing critically ill Covid-19 suspects to alternative hospitals so they will receive immediate and utmost care,” the SLMC statement dated July 13 read.
Both hospitals, however, will remain open for non-Covid patients, including outpatient procedures.
Meanwhile, MMC Medical Director Saturnino Javier said that despite the augmentation in their workforce, the hospital has reached the limits of its capacity to respond to more Covid-19 patients.
“Covid-19 zones of MMC, both regular wards and the critical care units, and especially the emergency room, are now full,” Javier said in a letter to patients, assuring them that they will exert every effort to find them another healthcare facility of their choice.
On July 6 at least 11 Metro Manila hospitals were reported to have reached the full capacity of their allocated Covid-19 beds. This issue prompted the DOH to meet with hospital officials in Metro Manila.
Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said they reminded the hospitals that they are mandated to allocate 30 percent of their bed capacity for Covid-19 cases.
“When they declare full capacity, it only means the capacity to allocate for Covid but not the entire hospital, so there’s still room in every hospital to expand more. That is what we are doing in our government hospitals,” Vergeire said.
Duque visits hospitals
In a media forum on Monday, Vergeire said Health Secretary Francisco T. Duque III will continue to conduct surprise hospital visits just like what he did last week.
On July 9 Duque headed to two health facilities unannounced to check on the situation of their healthcare workers and ensure they have enough resources amid the increasing number of Covid-19 cases in the country.
Duque visited Jose R. Reyes Memorial Medical Center, which recently reported 98.1 percent occupancy rate with 51 out of its 52 Covid dedicated beds occupied as of July 9.
The health chief also visited Tondo Medical Center, which reported an occupancy rate of 62.4 percent for its 101 Covid-dedicated beds.
“While statistics and data drive our Covid-19 response, it’s still different if you see the situation first hand. We rely on data and statistics in making decisions, but they are based on real-life situations that cannot be sufficiently captured by numbers. We still need to see the situation of patients and the facilities,” explained Duque.
He thanked the doctors, nurses, medical technologists, other healthcare workers, and hospital staff for tirelessly providing medical care and support for Covid-19 patients.