The Bohol Medical Society (BMS) has expressed alarm over the possibility of patients with illnesses other than the coronavirus disease to be neglected or not get adequate medical attention if the number of COVID-19 cases in Bohol continues to soar.
The BMS, through its president Dr. Jeff Ong, aired its concern after the Governor Celestino Gallares Memorial Hospital (GCGMH), Bohol’s largest public hospital, was forced to only cater to patients with COVID-19 symptoms due to the soaring number of cases of the disease in the province.
“That is alarming kay kaning atong premier medical center mao ang Celestino Gallares Hospital dili na maka accommodate og lain kaso gawas sa COVID, so mao na atong giingon sauna na og mo abot gani og critical phase na gitawag nato na sustained community transmission,” said Ong on Thursday last week.
The GCGMH, which transitioned to its “COVID-19 Phase” on June 23, will continue to only accept patients with COVID-19 symptoms until July 14.
The facility also suspended its elective surgical and OB-Gyne procedures and ambulatory services during the same period.
GCGMH, which is the province’s main COVID-19 referral health facility, has explained that the transition was made as the number of cases in Bohol continued to rise.
According to Ong, this is a cause for concern considering that there are other diseases and medical concerns that are more serious than COVID-19.
He said indigents who are mostly getting medical services at the GCGMH could end up not getting assistance.
“Ang mahitabo g’yud ani kung fully COVID-19 na gyud ang atoang premier medical center posibli na dili na ma attend tong mga indigents nga naa puy critical illness kay hibaw man ta na COVID-19 is not the most deadly naa pay mas kuyaw na sakit,” said Ong.
“Bisag kana sila dili na nato ma attend tungod kay e-priority man nato ang COVID which is of course highly contagious na illness,” he added.
Meanwhile, private hospitals in Bohol are still accepting patients with non-COVID-19 symptoms.
To continue accommodating the patients, however, most of the health facilities are forced to limit their COVID-19 beds.
Looking after COVID-19 patients could also exhaust a private hospital’s manpower and lead to being shorthanded as some personnel need to undergo quarantine, Ong added.
“Usa pud na problema aning COVID, taxing kaayo sa atong manpower kay kinahanglan na naa assigned ra sa usa ka area unya dili pwede mo tabok og lain area unya nig human sa ilang shift naa pa pud na silay quarantine period,” said Ong.
Based on the Bohol Inter-Agency Task Force’s (BIATF) latest data issued on Tuesday afternoon, there were 1,463 active COVID-19 cases in the province.
Some 1,453 or 99.3 of the total cases were identified as local transmissions. (R. Tutas)