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11 DOH volunteer doctors leave PGH; COVID-19 beds now full

Eleven volunteer doctors from the Department of Health (DOH) have left the Philippine General Hospital (PGH), which has reached its full capacity amid a surge in COVID-19 patients, according to the hospital’s spokesperson on Thursday.

In Mariz Umali's "24 Oras" report, PGH spokesperson Dr. Jonas Del Rosario said that 11 doctors decided not to renew their contract to pursue residency training.

Del Rosario could not say the individual reasons behind the resignations even as he surmised that these doctors could earn more elsewhere for a lesser workload.

"Maybe I can just hypothesize. Maaaring napagod na din, maaaring ‘yung iba nagkakasakit. They probably look at PGH na masyadong maraming trabaho. The truth of the matter is they can probably be earning more if they just [have] less work, higher pay outside," he said in an interview with CNN Philippines.

(Maybe I can just hypothesize. Maybe they are tired, probably the others are getting sick. They probably look at PGH as a place with a lot of work to do.)

"Ang narinig ko minsan ‘yung sweldo na P50,000 a month (I heard even if your salary is P50,000), to a lot of people that’s not enough. Because if they can moonlight somewhere, they can earn twice as much.”

Further, del Rosario said they need more health workers as 65% to 70% of their patients are severe to critical.

"We do not want to compromise the care that we deliver to our patients kasi yung komo may sakit sila, kailangan talaga matutukan... (they need to be monitored.) we really our trying our best, we have to cut down on our non-COVID elective cases,"he said.

Del Rosario also said their COVID-19 beds are now fully occupied, with 100 people still waiting to be admitted to the hospital.

“We have 300 beds for COVID. We have 298 patients in the hospital, but we also have about close to 35 patients in the emergency room," he said.

“And the reason why they are still in the emergency room is because a lot of these patients would require either a ventilator or a high-flow oxygen machine, you need oxygen ports, but we cannot accommodate them inside the hospital. The ER becomes an extension of the ICU setup in our COVID facility. We’re full.”

Del Rosario added they would have to close some of the non-COVID facilities “so that we can open up more beds that have available oxygen ports.”

The hospital has also mobilized health workers from other departments to help treat COVID-19 patients, but del Rosario admitted this was not enough.

“Even with that, kapos pa rin (it’s still not enough) because we have other non-COVID patients to take care of," he said. —With Consuelo Marquez/LDF, GMA News