The National Kidney and Transplant Institute (NKTI) said it is not closing its emergency room despite a recent influx of patients and an ongoing staffing shortage.
NKTI executive director Dr. Rose Liquete said its emergency room is handling an average of 100 patients daily, which is three times its capacity.
“We are not closing the hospital,” she told ANC’s “Headstart.”
“It’s just we are appealing to the public that if they need immediate management, they have options to go to other hospitals because of the queue in the emergency room,” she said.
The NKTI is currently strained with patients on dialysis, including those with leptospirosis and COVID-19.
Its charity and private rooms are also filled up, Liquete said.
The NKTI is tapping other hospitals such as the East Avenue Medical Center and Tala Hospital to accommodate other patients.
In the interview, Liquete said they are facing a shortage of nurses.
“We have applicants, but we have more nurses who are migrating or going abroad for greener pastures. I think that’s also true for most hospitals, even in private hospitals,” she said.
Liquete also said they couldn’t open the NKTI gymnasium to handle more patients due to a limited number of personnel.
“We have a lot of personnel who go on duty overtime. We make do because this is our work really,” she said in a mix of Filipino and English.
In an earlier statement, the DOH said it was in close coordination with the NKTI to address the situation.
The agency has tasked a Health undersecretary to assess the situation and to ensure incoming patients would be referred to nearby hospitals.
The DOH said the Philippine National Police (PNP) and the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) will deploy personnel to help augment the NKTI workforce.
This the DOH said after the NKTI earlier this week revealed that its emergency room services have reached full capacity with patients undergoing dialysis and with leptospirosis and COVID-19.
“What they really need is manpower, so we immediately called the PNP and AFP, and they immediately responded. They will deploy their health care cadre to the NKTI to help,” Vergeire told CNN Philippines.
Vergeire said other hospitals have also favorably responded to the DOH’s request for assistance for the NKTI.
Vergeire said there is up to 80 percent occupancy at hospitals because of non-COVID-19 cases.
Meanwhile, though they are also seeing an increase in the positivity rate in the National Capital Region, Vergeire said this should not be used as the sole basis of analysis, saying it is skewed because it can be affected by many factors.
OCTA Research on Thursday said that NCR’s seven-day COVID-19 positivity rate jumped from 7.4 percent on Nov. 15 to 9.2 percent on Nov. 22.