Medical frontliners on Tuesday pushed for teleconsultations to address the needs of COVID-19 patients on hospital waitlists as the country's healthcare system is overwhelmed worse than it was compared to last year.
Due to a surge in COVID cases and a lack of manpower and resources, hospitals are forced to turn down patients. According to Dr. Antonio Dans from the Healthcare Professionals Alliance Against COVID-19, doctors can assess a patient's condition through various communication channels if they cannot be accommodated at medical institutions.
"Palaganapin na natin itong telemedicine," he said, speaking to fellow doctors.
"Maghanap ng paraan para matawagan tayo ng pasyente—sa Facebook, sa Viber, sa cellphone," he added.
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"Karamihan naman, tingin ko, kung may nakausap silang doktor at na-reassure sila na 'mild po 'yan, don't worry, baka mahawa pa po kayo sa ospital, you'd be fine at home, tatawagan ko po kayo araw-araw, kakamustahin ko po kayo.'" Dans said.
Some COVID patients are wary of staying home for fear that symptoms may worsen over time. However, Dans said a mild case being surrounded by more severe cases in a hospital could be worse than recovering at home.
"If we do that and all work together, marami tayong matutulungan," he said, hoping for the decongestion of hospitals.
"Kung hindi niyo pa ginagawa, aralin na natin," Dans said. "There are so many ways para pwede tayong makipag-usap at tulungan yung mga pasyenteng naghahanap ng tulong," he added.
The Greater Manila Area—which covers Metro Manila, Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna, and Rizal—was placed under an extended enhanced community quarantine until April 11. The one-week extension is seen to tame the surge in COVID transmissions, after the Philippine reported a record-high of 15,310 daily cases last April 2.