Davao Public Hospital Seeks More Nurses Amid COVID-19 Outbreak

Two health workers who finished their night shift at a local hospital waited nearly an hour for their city government-offered ride as the city began its enhanced community quarantine to control the spread of Covid-19. (Kath M. Cortez / davaotoday .com)

DAVAO CITY – As COVID-19 cases in Davao City continue to rise, a shortage of nurses and medical staff has prompted the head of the Southern Philippine Medical Center (SPMC) to seek help from the municipal government of Davao to meet this need.

SPMC chief Dr Ricardo Audan revealed the shortage during the Davao City Council session last Tuesday.

“We can expand our rooms and beds, but we have a staff problem,” Audan said at the regular city council session.

The city has seen a surge of COVID-19 in recent weeks, apparently stemming from the new variants, as the health ministry identified 2,895 active cases in the city.

The SPMC and private hospitals have reached full capacity in their COVID-19 services.

Audan said the hospital also asked the local government in Davao and the Ministry of Health to redeploy medical staff from the Davao City Police Bureau (DCPO) and the Davao Fire Protection Bureau, who recently helped them manage COVID-19 cases.

Councilor Mary Joselle Villafuerte, chairman of the council’s health commission, tabled a resolution under suspended rules asking the Philippine National Police in Davao City and the Davao Fire Department to provide nursing and medical personnel to increase the staffing needs of the SPMC and the city’s private hospitals. .

Davao City Police spokesman Capt Rose Aguilar told a press conference on Wednesday that they had deployed 32 nurses as surveillance swabbers at Crocodile Park and 25 other members of the regional health services office staff.

“We are working on this, kung can request a list of staff members who are nurses and courses related to katong medicine and syemper iconsiderar pud nato nga naa pud mabilin tell his ground sa amao sa PNP ilabina sa mga stations, ( if there are requests, we have a list of staff who are nurses and those who have taken courses related to medicine, and of course, we are considering deploying some in our PNP stations) ”, a she declared.

Aguilar said they have 80 staff with nursing and medical degrees, but also need to deploy some to their own stations to meet their health needs.

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