University hospital chosen as NorthCot’s  PUI isolation center

KIDAPAWAN CITY (MindaNews / 04 April) – Officials of the Department of Health in Region 12 (Soccsksargen)  have chosen the hospital of the University of Southern Mindanao (USM) in Kabacan, North Cotabato as the isolation center for persons under investigation (PUI) who are manifesting mild flu-like symptoms.

Dr. Philbert Malaluan, Provincial Board Member of the 2nd district and  concurrent manager of the  Emergency Operations Center (EOC) of the Inter-Agency Task Force on COVID-19, said the USM Hospital in Kabacan town passed the standards set by DOH-12 to become a PUI isolation facility.

The hospital has at least 100 beds but the provincial government will only use 70 beds for PUIs.

University of Southern Mindanao Hospital in Kabacan, North Cotabato. Photo from the USM website

“The hospital is complete with facilities and amenities needed to make our PUIs comfortable and has enough personnel to take care of them,” Malaluan said.

With USM Hospital as the main isolation facility for North Cotabato, the provincial government will no longer need to rehabilitate the community hospital in President Roxas for COVID-19 measures.

This means, he stressed, the P12 million allotted for President Roxas Community Hospital will be re-aligned to cover other COVID-19 projects and programs.

Earlier, the Sangguniang Bayan of President Roxas passed a resolution strongly opposing the plan to make their community hospital a PUI isolation facility as this will allegedly make residents in the area vulnerable to the virus.

On Friday, the DOH-12 officials visited the community hospital in President Roxas town and said it did not pass their standards.

The M’lang District Hospital in M’lang town also failed to pass the standards.

Malaluan said the first isolation facility the provincial government set up early March was the 10-bed room at the Cotabato Provincial Hospital (CPH).

“We can’t allow the whole CPH as isolation facility as we will have to cater to other patients.  We already have problems with the private hospitals.  Many of them no longer accept patients with cough, colds, and fever for fear they might have the COVID-19.  That is a challenge to us at the provincial government,” he said.  (Malu Cadelina-Manar / MindaNews)