‘Inadequate’ reporting of COVID-19 cases? DOH passes blame to hospitals
MANILA, Philippines — After being accused by health professionals of “inadequacies” in reporting the data on the country’s hospital utilization due to COVID-19, the Department of Health (DOH) on Saturday passed the blame to hospitals’ alleged non-compliance in submitting data on emergency room admissions.
At the Laging Handa public briefing, DOH Undersecretary and spokesperson Maria Rosario Vergeire pointed out that there really is no perfect reporting system to begin with.
Vergeire said the government is implementing a pilot test of the alert level system in Metro Manila to improve the measures and indicators being considered for imposing restrictions.
“Naririnig po natin ang mga health professionals natin sa kanilang rekomendasyon. Nakapag-usap na po tayo with them. May mga kaunting challenges lang po talaga ang national government for us to be able to get the necessary data especially when it comes to emergency room admissions,” Vergeire said.
(We hear the recommendations of our health professionals. We have also talked with them. We really just have challenges in getting necessary data especially when it comes to emergency room admissions.)
“Tayo po ay kumokolekta nyan, may dates po tayo, but ang atin pong challenge is the compliance of hospitals in submitting this emergency room data,” she added.
(We collect that data but our challenge is the non-compliance of hospitals in submitting data on emergency room admissions.)
Vergeire then called on hospitals to regularly submit reports on emergency room admissions so they can also be considered by the government in looking at hospital utilization.
The Healthcare Professionals Alliance Against COVID-19 (HPAAC) earlier noted “inadequacies” of the country’s data reporting that forms the basis for the alert level system in Metro Manila, which started on September 16.
According to Dr. Leonila Dans, an epidemiologist and co-convenor of HPAAC, the DOH should conduct a daily census of emergency rooms to get an accurate picture of the country’s overwhelmed healthcare system, instead of just focusing on COVID-19 wards, intensive care units and isolation facilities.
Vergeire, however, noted that the DOH considers challenges in data reporting challenges at the national level.
“Ang ating health professionals po they look at their specific hospitals. We look at the whole country so kapag ‘yung challenges napakarami po, and specifically po ‘yung compliance sa submission ng reports,” she said.
(Our health professionals look at their specific hospitals but we look at the whole country so there are really many challenges, specifically on the compliance to submission of reports.)
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