DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 06 November) — The state-run Southern Philippines Medical Center (SPMC) will resume the face-to-face consultation services at its Outpatient Department (OPD) starting Monday as the number of COVID-19 cases in Davao City are decreasing, its top official announced Friday.
Dr. Ricardo Audan, SPMC hospital chief, told a virtual press briefer that the hospital management decided last week to gradually reopen the onsite consultations for the outpatients.
Audan said they can resume services at the OPD since the number of “moderate, critical, and severe” admissions due to COVID-19 cases at its isolation ward and intensive care unit (ICU) has significantly gone down.
As of November 3, the SPMC reported that 45 out of 111 ICU beds or 40.54% and 183 out of 419 ward beds or 43.68% are occupied. In the previous weeks, Audan said these COVID-19 beds were 100% occupied.
He said resumption of face-to-face OPD consultation services will allow the hospital to attend to other patients needing medical assistance, particularly those who may need elective surgeries, as the hospital catered only to patients needing “emergency or urgent surgeries” when COVID-19 infections surged.
He said the hospital would continue the teleconsultation, giving their clients another option to avail of these services without going to the hospital to minimize crowding.
Audan said they are encouraging the public to avail of the teleconsultation so that the doctors would know if their conditions will warrant a visit to the hospital for further consultation.
“Through the teleconsultation, they will tell us what they feel so that they can have face-to-face consultation the next day,” he said. But he added that those who fail to do teleconsulting will still be accommodated in SPMC.
Audan said the hospital staff can heave a sigh of relief with the current trend in COVID-19 cases.
“We are very happy with the outcome. Kami karon sa SPMC murag nakaginhawa me sa nahitabo (We, at the SPMC, can somewhat heave a sigh of relief because of what happened),” he added.
With cases down, he said, the SPMC has closed some of its isolation facilities with a total of 98 combined beds, and pulled out some nurses for reassignment to other non-COVID-19 facilities.
Audan said other private hospitals in the city are given the discretion to continue accepting COVID-19 patients in pursuant to Section 3 of Executive Order 60-A issued on November 4, amending the EO 60 of acting Mayor Sebastian Duterte.
EO 60 designated SPMC as the lone COVID-19 hospital in the city to “allow private hospitals to free up their allotted COVID beds and medical staff for non-COVID cases and sustain their business operations.”
As of November 5, the Department of Health-Davao reported 30 new cases in Davao City, bringing the total cases to 53,383 with 636 active, 51,006 active, and 1,739 dead. (Antonio L. Colina IV / MindaNews)