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DOH to Manila Water: Prioritize hospitals in rationing schedule

By: - Reporter / @jovicyeeINQ
/ 05:08 AM March 14, 2019

RUNNING LOW Health Secretary Francisco Duque (left) and Dr. Relito Saquilayan of Rizal Medical Center inspect the hospital’s water tank. —JAM STA ROSA

The Department of Health (DOH) is monitoring the operations of at least five hospitals in Metro Manila that are affected by the ongoing water shortage to ensure their patients’ health will not be compromised.

Health Secretary Francisco Duque III said on Wednesday he had coordinated with Manila Water Co. Inc. to ensure that hospitals would be given priority in any rationing scheme.

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“The uninterrupted operations of our hospitals is our priority. We cannot compromise the health of our patients. Our hospitals depend on [adequate] water supply for the hygiene and sanitation of our patients. Lives are at stake and we need everybody’s cooperation,” Duque told reporters.

Affected hospitals

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He identified the hospitals experiencing a water shortage as Rizal Medical Center (RMC), National Kidney and Transplant Institute, and National Center for Mental Health.

On the other hand, Philippine Children’s Medical Center and Quirino Memorial Medical Center have complained of very low water pressure.

Relito Saquilayan, RMC chief, said that in the past days, they had to limit the number of admissions, prioritize cases and put on hold dialysis sessions to cope with the limited water supply.

Duque, however, said that these restrictions had been lifted as the water situation in the hospital began to “slowly normalize” because of the water deliveries from Manila Water and the Philippine Red Cross.

Water-saving measures

Saquilayan said that to conserve water, the hospital had implemented some measures, including rationing water for every ward and recycling the water used for toilets and in watering plants. He added that some patients had also taken it upon themselves to bring in water for their own consumption.

Duque noted though that in the coming weeks, RMC, which consumes an average of 500 cubic meters daily or 500,000 liters of water, would have to make do with the 250 cubic meters of water Manila Water had promised to supply every day.

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“That’s the acute response. [Manila Water] is trying [its] best that by Friday, a water rotating schedule will be put in place. Water is really fundamental to ensuring hygiene and sanitation in the operations of the hospitals for infection control and infection prevention measures,” Duque said.

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TAGS: DoH, Francisco Duque III, hospital water needs, Manila Water Co. Inc., water shortage
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