MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine government is looking to expand its COVID-19 referral center into other regions to improve coordination among local authorities and healthcare providers amid rising infections in various parts of the country, a health official said Wednesday.
During the Laging Handa public briefing, Health Undersecretary and treatment czar Leopoldo Vega said they have established regional hospital commands in Regions 4A, 3, and in Southern Mindanao and Caraga areas.
The One COVID-19 referral center, previously called One Hospital Command, connects patients needing medical attention to healthcare providers. Its headquarters is in Metro Manila.
“Dahan-dahan namin itong nire-regionalize kasi alam naming marami rin kaming calls coming from outside of Metro Manila,” Vega said.
“Malaking breakthrough po ito lalong-lalo na sa interconnectivity between the regional and the national institutions para po mas mabilis ang ating pag-aksyon, lalong lalo na sa mga pangangailangan ng mga regional hospitals at medical centers,” he added.
The expansion of the hospital command to several regions comes amid the reported uptick in COVID-19 cases in parts of the Visayas and Mindanao.
Meanwhile, Vega said the services of the COVID-19 referral center in Metro Manila have improved with the increased number of its personnel and equipment.
The health official said they have added 80 more personnel, including medical doctors, coordinators, call takers and I.T. workers.
The referral center has also transferred its headquarters to a bigger venue, from the Metro Manila Development Authority complex to the Philippine International Convention Center.
More phone lines have also been opened to accommodate more calls.
“Better na ho yung facilities namin ngayon at number of personnel at saka yung connectivity,” Vega said.
Those in need of medical help may call the One COVID-19 Referral Center through hotline 1555, 02-886-505-00, 0919-977-3333, or 0915-777-7777.