The government on Thursday formally launched the One Hospital Command system which aims to improve the referral system and interoperability of public and private health care facilities catering to COVID-19 patients in the country.
Chief implementer of the national action plan against COVID-19 Secretary Carlito Galvez said the centralized referral mechanism would "reduce the waiting time" for admission of infected patients.
"Sa pamamagitan ng sistemang ito maibababa natin ang mortality rate ng mga COVID at non-COVID patient na isa sa mga pangunahing layunin ng second phase ng ating national action plan against COVID-19" Galvez said.
"Kailangan pababain natin ang ating fatality rate to the minimum level so that we can open up our economy. Without doing that, we cannot open and recover our economy," he added.
Philippine economy plunged to a recession in the second quarter of the year as it contracted by 16.5% during the April to June period, according to the Philippine Statistics Authority.
The One Hospital Command Center is housed at the MMDA Gymnasium in Makati City but it also uses an offsite call center for efficient processing of transactions.
The public may reach the command center through the Pure Force Citizens mobile app, QR codes, and hotlines 0919-977-3333, 0915-777-7777, or (02) 886-505-00.
Command center staff will be coordinating with hospitals and isolation facilities for efficient transfers of patients.
Health Secretary Francisco Duque III said placing the mild and asymptomatic cases to step-down facilities like hotels would also help in decongesting hospitals.
"Ang kaakibat na hamon sa atin pong pagsulong ng ating One Hospital Command ay magkaroon tayo ng sistema. Ang mild at asymptomatic ay sana po huwag na masyadong magtatagal sa mga ospital," he said.
"It's a bit more of a challlenge sa private hospitals because 'yung clientelle ho ng mga private hospitals medyo mahirap talikuran ang mga 'yan komo mga may kaya and demanding," he added.
Duque said it is crucial to establish the sense that the same care will be extended to step down facilities as if patients are still in hospitals.
As of August 4, 77% of the 534 ICU beds, 77% of the 3,700 isolation beds, and 86% of the 1,600 ward beds dedicated to COVID-19 in the National Capital Region are occupied.
Duque said the One Hospital Command center aims to cover even hospitals and isolation facilities outside Metro Manila in the coming weeks.
As of August 5, the total number of COVID-19 cases in the Philippines jumped to 115,980, the second highest in Southeast Asia next to Indonesia which has 116,865.
The number of active cases in the country is at 47,587. On the other hand, 66,270 recovered and 2,123 died. — RSJ, GMA News