The Philippine Medical Association and Philippine Nurses Association on Friday lamented the sorry state of doctors and nurses attending to the needs of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in hospitals.
In a dzMM interview, Dr. Joe Santiago, PMA president, said 24 doctors have already died “during the COVID-19 crisis while in line of duty.”
“We do not want to name [some of] them for private reason,” he said.
About 300 doctors have already been infected with the virus, he said.
“Well, as of now, we still have personal protective equipment, but we need to sustain the supply,” he said.
To reduce the spread of COVID-19, he said, some hospitals have allowed their doctors to adopt a work shift enabling them to take a two-week off “while another set [of doctors] coming in to report for duty.”
The PMA is now adopting “tele-konsulta” as another measure to avoid face-to-face consultations with possible COVID-19 or non-COVID-19 patients, he said.
Dr. Rosie de Leon, PNA president, also called on the Department of Health to provide the medical workers with enough supply of PPE so they could not contract the disease.
“A [hospital] nurse has a normal duty of eight hours. But it would be better if we could reduce their duty hours,” she told a separate dzMM interview.
“There are many persons under investigation, persons under monitoring and COVID-19 patients among nurses because they would exceed work hours of 10 to 12 hours,” she said.
“They have to go to the comfort room, to eat and whatever so they would need to take off their PPE [in the meantime]. Let see what we can do [about it],” she added.
She said government hospitals lack PPE.
“The DOH has already ordered PPE. We are asking it to look into what hospitals are lacking of the PPE. If we do not have enough, COVID-19 cases would continue to go up, and that there would be no enough manpower [of nurses if they get sick],” she added.
“I think we already have 340 nurses who are COVID-19 positive,” she noted.