3 private hospitals in Davao City to be designated as COVID-19 facilities

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 28 April) – Three private hospitals in Davao City are being prepared to accommodate patients who will test positive for the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in case the rate of infection worsens.

In her live interview over Davao City Disaster Radio (DCDR) 87.5 on Monday, Duterte said they have given these three big private hospitals the green light to operate as COVID-19 facilities to prepare just in case the Southern Philippines Medical Center (SPMC) would no longer be able to accommodate additional infected patients.

The state-run SPMC is the only hospital in the city and one of the two medical institutions in the Davao Region authorized to accommodate COVID-19 positive cases. The other hospital is Davao Regional Medical Center in Tagum City, Davao del Norte.

Duterte did not reveal the names of the hospitals yet but added they would be asked to open exclusively for COVID-19 patients once the SPMC is overwhelmed with active positive cases.

“We need to release the letters to start the discussion and preparation of the private hospitals. Are we going to use them? We do not know. Do we need them at this point? Not yet. But we are often reminded by the doctors to always prepare for the worst-case scenario. That is why, we need to do this, to select in advance private hospitals to be designated as COVID-19 hospitals,” she said.

The mayor said the medical expenses of the COVID-19 patients who would be admitted to the private hospitals would be taken care of by the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth) up to the level that it could shoulder the cost.

“The PhilHealth will shoulder the medical expenses first because it has a mandate to pay them, up to the level that it can, and then after that, it will be discussed between the private hospital and the government,” she said.

As of Sunday, the Department of Health-Davao recorded four new COVID-19 cases, bringing the total to 124 in the region.

Of the total, 108 cases are in Davao City, with the addition of four latest cases.

Other provinces in Davao Region have remained stable, with nine in Davao del Norte, two in Davao del Sur, two in Davao de Oro, and three in Davao Oriental. Davao Occidental has remained COVID-19-free.

The DOH-Davao has recorded 69 recovered patients. (Antonio L. Colina IV / MindaNews)