Use of Covid-19 beds in private hospitals rises amid case hike

By Ma. Teresa Montemayor

May 17, 2023, 3:00 pm

<p><em>(File photo)</em></p>

(File photo)

MANILA – The Private Hospitals Association of the Philippines (PHAPi) on Wednesday said the number of patients with coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) admitted in most private hospitals has increased by 20 to 50 percent in the past two to three days.

In a televised public briefing, PHAPi President Dr. Jose de Grano said most of the cases were labelled "coincidental Covid", meaning patients were admitted for different health issues but turn out positive for Covid-19 when screened.

“But that depends on the number of allocated beds, kung dalawampu ang kama niyo at may sampu na na-admit (if you have 20 beds and 10 are admitted), that’s 50 percent already,” he said.

The country logged 1,088 cases on Tuesday (May 16) bringing the total tally to 4,118,013 with 15,229 active cases.

Covid-19 infections are seen rising in certain areas including Cavite, Laguna, Aklan and the Davao region.

In a media forum Tuesday, Department of Health officer-in-charge Maria Rosario Vergeire confirmed the increase of cases in Aklan as its positivity rate had reached 59.7 percent for the week of May 8 to 14.

The percentage should not be a cause of panic for the public, she said, because they have monitored that the numbers are low with only 37 individuals turning out positive for Covid-19 out of the 62 who took the test.

Aklan’s utilization rate for Covid-19 beds is 17 percent while its utilization rate for ICU beds is 5 percent. Both are considered low risk for the healthcare utilization rate, she said.

Despite the rise of Covid-19 cases and admissions, de Grano assured everyone that it is safe to go to private hospitals for their healthcare needs and have medical consultations.

He said Covid and non-Covid areas in hospitals are separated and self-protection like wearing face masks is still required.

"Some private hospitals still do not allow family members, relatives or friends to look after patients who are confined for any disease,” he added. (PNA)