The Quezon City government has identified 10 locations in its initial list of vaccination sites to address the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.
“We have chosen those areas because these are strategic areas where people from the six districts can easily go to,” Mayor Joy Belmonte said.
Meanwhile, Quezon City Rep. Precious Castelo on Sunday said the city’s four government-owned specialty hospitals will get P1.56 billion in additional funds this year.
“More funding means the hospitals can accommodate and treat more patients from Quezon City and Metro Manila, and from nearby provinces and even other parts of the country as well,” she said.
The four specialty hospitals are the Lung Center of the Philippines, National Kidney and Transplant Institute (NKTI), Philippine Children’s Medical Center (PCMC) and Philippine Heart Center (PHC), all located on East Avenue and Quezon Avenue.
Belmonte said: “We have already started to designate vaccination sites to be prepared anytime should there’ll be a vaccine. We have to plan ahead to assure our people that we are doing everything to make these vaccines available as soon as possible.”
The vaccination sites are the Project 6 tennnis court in District 1, Batasan Hills National High School and NGC covered court in District 2, Aguinaldo Elementary School in District 3, Dona Josefa Jara Martinez High School and Diosdado Macapagal Elementary School in District 4, Kaligayahan activity center and Fairview covered court in District 5, and Emilio Jacinto Elementary School and Culiat High School in District 6.
Belmonte said the city government aims to establish 24 sites in addition to the three city-run hospitals, the QC General Hospital, Rosario Maclang Bautista General Hospital, and Novaliches District Hospital.
Dr. Esperanza Arias, city health officer, said the city government’s other vaccination sites are still being evaluated by the Department of Health for compliance.
“The vaccination site must have unidirectional workflow or one entry and one exit, comfort rooms and ample space for free movement of staff and observance of minimum health standards,” she said.
“For every site, the city government will designate 22 employees composed of physicians, marshalls, vaccinators, counselors and admin staff,” she said.
The vaccines are expected to be delivered in the third quarter of 2021.
The hospitals under the Department of Health could also expand their services amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Under the P4.5-trillion 2021 national budget, the children’s hospital would get the biggest increase of P736 million with its funding going up from P1.198 billion in 2020 to P1.934 billion in 2021, she said.
NKTI would receive P372 million in additional subsidy from P908 million to P1.28 billion, while the Heart Center shall have P364 million more from P1.432 billion to P1.796 billion.
Lung Center’s outlay was increased by P88 million from P417 million in 2020 to P505 million in 2021.
“It is ironic that the Lung Center, which is a COVID-19 hospital, like NKTI, is getting the smallest budgetary increase,” Castelo lamented.
She called on the DoH to help COVID-19 health facilities with more fundings.
“We even have a variant that is reportedly 70-percent more infectious. Our people should remain vigilant and should always observe basic health protocols, such as wearing masks and face shields, and frequent hand washing,” she said.