SouthCot police assigns 5 nurses to augment workforce in COVID-19 hospital

GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews / 12 May) – The South Cotabato Police Provincial Office (SCPPO) has assigned an initial five nurses to augment the workforce at the Soccsksargen General Hospital (SGH) in Surallah town, the province’s dedicated treatment center for coronavirus disease (COVID-19) patients.

The Soccsksargen General Hospital, also known as the Upper Valley Community Hospital, in Surallah, South Cotabato. Photo courtesy of Google Street View

Dr. Conrado Braña, chief of the South Cotabato Provincial Hospital, said the trained nurses reported for duty starting Tuesday as part of the complementary volunteer health care workers of the facility.

He said the deployment of the additional nurses has helped ease the personnel shortage at the SGH, which previously had a nurse-to-patient ratio of 1:13.

“They will be on duty for three straight days and would be replaced by another set of nurses after that,” he said in a press conference in Koronadal City on Wednesday.

Braña, the designated in-charge of the provincial government-run hospitals, said the move was an offshoot of a memorandum of understanding (MOU) forged by the local government with the SCPPO.

The registered nurses are regular police personnel assigned under the SCPPO’s medical reserve force.

He said the local government, through Gov. Reynaldo Tamayo Jr., is currently working on the signing of another MOU with the Bureau of Fire Protection.

The SGH COVID-19 treatment center currently has 18 ward beds and three intensive care unit rooms, which are equipped with three ventilators and other necessary equipment.

The official said the facility was “nearly overwhelmed” last month after its admission reached 58 patients, the highest since last year.

Aside from its regular personnel, he said the SGH has 121 volunteer medical workers divided into four teams and rendering duty for 10 days each.

The teams are composed of specialists from the South Cotabato Medical Society such as cardiologists, pulmonologists, neurologists, endocrinologists, surgeons, anesthesiologists, and pediatricians.

“We’re continually looking for additional nurses to augment our work force at the SGH and other hospitals so we can better respond in case of another surge,” Braña said.

Aside from the SGH and the provincial hospital, the local government manages the Polomolok Municipal Hospital and the Norala District Hospital. (MindaNews)