Baguio health care utilization rate now critical

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City health authorities raised concern over the reported critical health care utilization rate of health facilities in the city following the surge in Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) cases in the city primarily triggered by the more infectious Delta variant that is now the dominant variant in the locality.

City Health Officer Dr. Rowena Galpo reported that the average health care utilization rate of the various public and private hospitals in the city is already 106.7 percent which means that almost all the hospitals have already exceeded their prescribed capacities.

The health care utilization rate represents the occupancy rate of the allocated isolation beds, COVID-19 wards, intensive care unit (ICU) beds, mechanical ventilators and authorized bed capacity.

Saint Louis University (SLU) Hospital of the Sacred Heart reported the highest health care utilization rate with a whooping 150 percent followed by the Baguio General Hospital (BeGH) with 112.5 percent, Notre Dame de Chartres Hospital – 92 percent, Baguio Medical Center – 87.85 percent and Pines City Doctors Hospital 70.6 percent.

On the other hand, the occupancy rate of the different isolation units in the city was raised to high risk at an average of 75.9 percent.

The city’s central triage quarantine facility recorded the highest occupancy rate with 91.7 percent followed by the Ferioni Apartment at 83.33 percent, Baguio Teachers Camp Roxas and Romulo halls – 78 percent, Baguio City Community Isolation Unit based at the former Sto. Nin֮o Hospital – 77 percent, Baguio Teachers Camp Magsaysay Hall quarantine facility – 70 percent and Laurel Dorm 2 – 57.44 percent.

The various isolation units and quarantine facilities have a total bed capacity of 920 where around 698 beds are already occupied by the individuals required to undergo quarantine while awaiting for the results of their reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) tests and isolation for confirmed COVID-19 cases.

Galpo claimed that because of the full capacity of the various public and private hospitals in the city, the city’s community isolation unit already started accepting severe but stable COVID-19 patients to help in preventing the said facilities from being eventually overwhelmed.

The city government is working out the expansion of the existing bed capacity of the community isolation unit at the Sto. Nin֮o hospital with the proposed additional 150 beds to its current capacity of 360 beds so that more patients who are required to undergo isolation will be accommodated while the same will be serving as a step-down facility and staging area.

The city and the public works department will be using the P20 million earlier set aside for the put up of the Atab district health center to expand the capacity of the city’s community isolation center to accommodate the increasing number of individuals required to undergo isolation because of the ongoing surge in cases due to the presence of the more infectious Delta variant.

City officials assured that the funds for the Atab district health center will be replaced with a similar fund that is expected to come from the concerned government agencies. By Dexter A. See

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