Cebu hospitals increase COVID-19 beds by 30 percent


Cebu hospitals are expanding their COVID-19 bed allocation to 30 percent of their total bed capacity.

This move is their response to the request of Secretary Michael Dino, Presidential Assistant for the Visayas, for additional beds to address the rising number of COVID-19 admissions.

Health officials had observed  that the number of severe cases have increased although the average daily cases remain flat. The increase in severe cases resulted in an uptick in the number of admissions.

“Secretary Mike Dino has already been in touch with all the private hospitals, especially the big ones, ug iyang panawagan mao ang pag-increase to 30 percent ang ilang i-allocate nga COVID beds (he called for 30 percent increase in bed allocation for COVID beds), bared Assistant Secretary Anthony Gerard ‘Jonji’ Gonzales during the Mugstoria Ta aired live at 1 pm on the Facebook page of the Office of the Presidential Assistant for the Visayas.

Asec Gonzales explained that the 30 percent increase refers to the combined expansion of hospitals since some would be unable to meet the 30 percent expansion.

He cited as an example the Cebu Doctors’ Group of Hospitals, which would be adding around 35 percent additional capacity.

Dr. Potenciano ‘Yong’ Larrazabal III, president and chairman of the board of the Cebu Doctors’ Group, revealed that they have already added isolation rooms and intensive care units dedicated to COVID-19 patients.

Larrazabal, together with Cebu City Mayor Edgardo Labella, Department of Health Regional Director Dr. Jaime Bernadas and DOH-7 regional coordinator for Emerging and Re-emerging Infectious Diseases were the guests for the Monday to Friday program.

Dr. Larrazabal said they aim to increase their  bed capacity for mild and moderate COVID cases from 100 to 175 and their ICU beds from 15 to 36.

In addition, the Cebu Doctors’ Hospital will open a 20-bed charity COVID ward, he added.

“Our role is to calm the public by providing enough COVID beds and COVID ICUs. That’s the only way,” Dr. Larrazabal said.

As of Monday, Cebu Doctors’ Hospital was able to open a new wing with 12 additional beds because the DOH  had sent 10 nurses to CDH, he said.

Dr. Larrazabal noted the need to increase capacity for COVID cases because the refusal of hospitals’ emergency room to admit COVID patients due to unavailability of rooms for them would create panic among the community.

“So, the battlecry here now I told my staff, because when I met IATF chief Secretary (Carlito) Galvez, what the President hates is that kung mabalibaran ang patient nga naay COVID,” Dr. Larrazabal explained.

Noting that it’s a race against time to add more isolation rooms and ICU for COVID because COVID admissions keep piling  up, he said.

Dr. Larrazabal also clarified that different hospitals have different strategies.

“Some don’t accept COVID cases; some accept five, some accept 10,” he noted.

Dr. Larrazabal said the Mactan Doctors Hospital have 10 available beds while  the North General Hospital have nine available beds for mild and moderate cases.

The two hospitals and South General Hospital each have two available ICU beds. They will also be expanding the capacity of the South General Hospital for mild and moderate cases, Dr. Larrazabal said./PR