Cayetano seeks better DOH report

Alan Peter Cayetano

SPEAKER Alan Peter Cayetano asked the Department of Health (DOH) to have a more comprehensive report on medical supplies and procurement of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).

Cayetano, who is leading the House contingent on the oversight committee, said it is not enough for the DOH to just ask for P2 billion without specifying details like its health strategy, logistical distribution plan and prices of the needed medical supplies.

The Bayanihan We Heal as One Act was enacted in order for the national government to address the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) accurately, effectively and immediately to curtail the spread of the virus.

Cayetano asked Health Secretary Francisco Duque to provide the committee the logistical distribution plan to help capacitate public and private hospitals that are treating COVID-19 patients.

To allay the apprehensions of the public, he suggested to DOH to give a more comprehensive picture on the current supply and demand situation given the increasing COVID-19 cases.

He asked DOH to be transparent on the number of available hospital beds in the country and how it will be addressed as well as about the number of the PPEs which will be delivered to the hospitals and how long these procured items will last.

While the DOH is providing daily updates on the number of COVID-19 cases and the hospitals where the patients afflicted by the disease are confined, there has been limited information on how the necessary supplies procured or to be procured are being distributed nationwide.

“So it's not enough to just say "2 billion, binibili namin" hindi, tell us the number of the hospitals per region, ilang beds 'yan, ilan ang ide-deliver niyo and then i-communicate niyo 'yan sa mga ospital para sila mismo kapag humingi sila sa tao or sinabing kulang, they can say what they meant by "kulang ito," he said.

“Kailangan very clear ang ating public health strategy, so very clear naman sa lahat na stay home para hindi maghawaan.Ang kulang kasi sa sinasabi ng DOH natin, ilan ba ang ospital natin? Ilan bang beds? Paano niyo ba kino-compute ang PPEs? Mako-compute mo 'yung kailangan na PPE base sa ilan ang hospital bed capacity. Ganon din ang beds, mako-compute niyo sa kung ano ang projection niyo, kung ano 'yung peak ng mai-infect at ilan ang maho-hospitalize 'di ba?” Cayetano said.

While the Speaker recognizes the overwhelming task that they need to do as a department as well as the hard work and professionalism that their officials have exhibited, Cayetano advised the department to deliver their message with “simplicity and clarity.”

“With the passage of the ‘Bayanihan to Heal as One Act’, we can make these medical supplies widely accessible to our health workers and medical professionals especially to allow them to better perform their tasks.” Cayetano stressed.