Docs warn Aklan healthcare system on ‘brink of collapse’
ILOILO CITY—The provincial hospital of Aklan has suspended outpatient consultations and nonemergency surgeries and procedures amid a shortage in COVID-19 hospital beds and a warning by local medical experts that the province’s health-care system was on the “brink of collapse.”
Doctors, business operators and officials in Aklan have also appealed for more vaccine allocations.
Aklan Gov. Florencio Miraflores, as early as June 24, has alerted that the 90-bed COVID-19 ward of Dr. Rafael S. Tumbokon Memorial Hospital already reached 78-percent occupancy.
To address the spike in COVID-19 patients, only emergency surgical and obstetrics-gynecological procedures will be performed at the hospital until further notice while beds for non-COVID-19 patients were halved, he said.
The municipal council of Kalibo also asked National Task Force Against Covid-19 chief implementer and vaccine czar Carlito Galvez Jr. to provide vaccines for the capital town.
Kalibo has recorded 131 active cases and 38 deaths with an average increase in active cases of six cases per day and average death of one every two days as of June 26, according to Vice Mayor Cynthia dela Cruz.
“Kalibo is the capital town of Aklan and the gateway and economic base of Boracay Island. Our economy is greatly affected [leading to the] closure of many establishments and loss of work and income of our people. The gradual reopening of Boracay Island to tourism requires a protected [community],” Dela Cruz said in a statement on Monday.
High risk levels
Aklan Medical Society also sent on Sunday a letter to Health Secretary Francisco Duque III and Galvez asking for more vaccines for the province.
“We, the [members of the] medical community, have seen our hospitals and quarantine facilities’ capacity pushed to high risk levels, leaving our health-care system on [the] brink of collapse. We have also seen [an] increasing number of COVID-19-related deaths, especially [among the] elderly and those with comorbidities,” according to their letter.
The Aklan chapter of Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI-Aklan) likewise appealed for help from the regional and national task forces against COVID-19.
“Both the Aklan provincial and [Kalibo municipal governments] are prepared and have the necessary logistical and manpower capabilities to handle the inoculations as the vaccines are made available,” PCCI-Aklan president Josefina dela Cruz, said in a letter to the regional task force.
—NESTOR P. BURGOS JR. INQ
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