THE medical director of the Jose Fabella Memorial Hospital yesterday expressed gratitude to the Philippine Red Cross for accommodating and immediately processing the COVID test of more than 200 of the hospital’s medical personnel who needed immediate testing.
Dr. Esmeraldo T. Ilem, medical director, said he called the PRC to request for the immediate testing of 180 personnel who had close contact with seven residents whose recent swab tests came out positive.
“Tumawag ako para ipaki-usap na magsagawa ng test sa mga personnel na may exposure dun sa pitong residenteng nagpositive. Naka-duty pa rin kasi sila nung time na hinihintay pa lang results ng test nila kaya maraming na-expose sa kanila. Initially 180 personnel ‘yung itinawag ko sa Red Cross pero ngayon maraming pang nag-come forward kasi nakasama din nila ‘yung iba dun sa pito,” Ilem told People’s Journal.
“Nagpapasalamat ako sa Red Cross, lalo na kay Sen. (Richard J.) Gordon, dahil pumayag silang i-test sila agad at ipa-prioritize para makuha agad results. Handa naman kaming bayaran ‘yung test dahil siyempre laboratory test ‘yan, talagang may bayad ‘yan kaya. The process was really fast too. Lumabas na mga results,” he added.
Ilem said the hospital already issued an advisory that they would not be accepting new patients for admission for the next few days to pave the way for the disinfection of affected areas in the hospital.
“Nag-advise na kami na hindi muna kami makakatanggap ng mga new admissions at ‘yung mga eligible na for discharge dun sa mga naka-confine ngayon ay pinauwi na namin pero in-advisean namin sila na magquarantine muna and monitor for any symptoms. Pero identified naman namin ‘yung mga na-expose. And although may mga medical teams naman kami na hindi na-expose, kailangan muna naming pansamantalang mag-trim down ng operations kasi skeleton force lang kami ngayon while hindi pa na-test lahat ng exposed. ‘Yung OPD (out-patient department) namin tinapos lang namin mga pasyente kaninang umaga. Buti wala kaming OPD ng Saturday and Sunday kaya di masyadong maapektuhan mga pasyente kasi baka by Monday, pwede ng magbukas ulit,” he added.
Upon Gordon’s instructions, the PRC will conduct COVID test on Fabella’s doctors and other medical personnel to ensure its continued operations. Gordon is PRC’s chairman and CEO.
“I already instructed former Health Secretary Paulyn Ubial, who is now head of our Molecular Laboratory, to swab the Fabella personnel immediately. We are not going to charge the individual personnel for the swab test. The PRC will test doctors and healthcare workers even if we lose money because they are important,” he said.
Gordon assured the hospital chief that they will immediately test the said personnel.
“Basta health care workers we will swab them! We are here to save lives! The Red Cross is a humanitarian organization that is dedicated to helping those who help others, especially health frontliners,” he said.
The PRC has been regularly conducting tests, once every two weeks, on medical personnel from 15 hospitals run by the Department of Health. It has tested a total of 32,000 medical personnel.
Dr. Jose Fabella Memorial Hospital, the National Maternity Hospital, is a maternal and newborn tertiary hospital located in Santa Cruz, Manila in the Philippines. It also houses the Jose Fabella Memorial Hospital School of Midwifery, one of the best performing institutions recognized by the Professional Regulation Commission in the Midwife Licensure Examinations.
The hospital is considered as a “baby factory,” with a large number of pregnant women, not only from Metro Manila but from other nearby provinces as well, going there to give birth.