Baguio to adopt home care, telemedicine

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The city is working on the adoption of home care and telemedicine as part of the ongoing efforts of concerned government agencies and the local government to address the full occupancy of public and private hospitals caused by the surge in Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) cases.

Mayor Benjamin B. Magalong instructed local health authorities to consider home care coupled with telemedicine as part of the strategy to control the number of COVID patients being admitted in local health facilities.

He disclosed that there are individuals who are willing to pay for the various services that will be provided them as they opt to undergo such home care while recuperating from the deadly virus, thus, the need to explore the same to help in reducing the COVID infected individuals from being brought and admitted in the different local hospitals.

Earlier, the various private hospitals in the city declared that their facilities devoted for COVID patients are already occupied and that the same could no longer expand their COVID beds to 30 percent as mandated by the health department because of financial constraints.

The local chief executive stated that combining home care and telemedicine to individuals who are willing to pay for whatever services that will be provided them will be a noble intervention that will be put in place by the city to address the influx of COVID patients to the different health facilities that could cause the congestion of the hospitals.

According to him, those patients that do not meet the criteria for hospital admission could still receive quality health care even if they are at home because it will be the health workers who will be visiting the patients in their homes and facilitating their required daily checkups and working on their laboratory specimens for the conduct of the tests in the facilities.

The home care program was first introduced at The Medical City Clark last year and it aims to ensure the patients suspected of or positive of COVID are closely monitored, attended to, and guided on their health condition and recovery through a physical-supervised continuity of care at home or hotel.

Magalong urged health authorities to consider the implementation of the home care program in the city as the same has been recommended for patients who are experiencing mild symptoms of the virus as health experts believe that not all patients diagnosed with COVID-19 need to be hospitalized.

He claimed that the home care program will allow not so serious COVID patients to get top of the line medical assistance in the comfort of their homes so that they will not be included as among those who are being brought to the health facilities and contribute to the prevailing congestions in the said hospitals.

He added that the program will also help reduce the risk of spreading the deadly virus as they will be already be isolated in their homes and be ensured of the quality health care services that will be provided by the assigned health workers who will be constantly updating the status of the patients who are undergoing the home care program.

Among those who can avail of the program are those suspected of or positive for Covid-19, those having moderate and mild symptoms of the virus awaiting their test results and those completing self-isolation.

By Dexter A. See
Photo by: Armando Bolislis

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