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BRTTH stops admission of non-Covid patients

By Rhaydz B. Barcia

Albay’s biggest government hospital, the Bicol Regional Training and Teaching Hospital (BRTTH), will no longer accept new patients except for Covid-19 related illnesses due to the surge in the number of patients admitted who are infected by the highly transmissible Covid-19 Delta variant.

In a press statement released on Monday, Sept. 13, by Dr. Eric Raymond N. Raborar, BRTTH medical center chief, he said that they will no longer accept non-Covid patients following the rising cases of Covid-19 in the region.

The BRTTH located in Legazpi City, is one of the three Covid-19 referral hospitals of the Department of Health in Bicol, providing medical services to residents of Albay, Catanduanes, Masbate, and Sorsogon.

“Starting September 15, BRTTH will exclusively handle patients with severe coronavirus illness. Only suspected and confirmed cases of patients will be admitted but it will also be opened for coronary care units, medical intensive care unit (MICU) neonatal intensive care unit, pediatric intensive care unit at Bicol Cancer Center,” Raborar said.

“All cases not related to coronavirus will be send to other health facilities,” he said.

Raborar said that specialist physicians of BRTTH will be sent to the Legazpi City Hospital, Josefina Belmonte Duran Albay Provincial Hospital in Ligao City, and Dr. Lorenzo P. Ziga Memorial District Hospital in Tabaco City, to serve non-Covid patients.

“To address the pandemic, we are encouraging the cooperation of the public to follow and observe the DOH protocols to contain the spread of Covid-19. BRTTH will return to normal operation once the Covid-19 cases are controlled,” Raborar said.

The BRTTH wants to contain the spread of virus and is limiting the patients to lessen the risk of transmission and make sure non-Covid patients are not compromised, except in emergency case and the patient needs the attention of its specialist.

Raborar, newly installed BRTTH medical director, is implementing the no balance billing policy for Covid-19 patients.

BRTTH, a former US Army station hospital, recently celebrated its centennial anniversary. It has 1,085 employees, 675 of whom are regular employees while 410 are job order workers.

It has an authorized bed capacity of 250, although there are 512 actual beds. The hospital is experiencing congestion due to the increasing number of patients.

During normal situations, the hospital accommodates about 450 to 500 patients daily, but with the ongoing pandemic, the BRTTH is catering to a higher number of patients.

Meanwhile, Dr. Ernie Vera, DOH Bicol regional director, said the region is now experiencing a surge of coronavirus cases, at an average of more than 400 cases a day, which he said is quite alarming.

Vera expressed apprehension as the three main Covid-19 referral hospitals in Bicol such as the BRTTH in Legazpi City, the Bicol Medical Center (BMC) in Naga City and the Bicol Sanitarium in Cabusao, Camarines Sur are starting to get crowded or jam-packed.

The DOH said that of the 1,030 beds allocated for Covid-19 patients, 330 beds or 32 percent were already occupied.

To curtail the spread of Covid-19, the DOH official renewed its call to the public to cooperate by following the minimum public health standards, which are the best preventive measures against the spread of all variants and mutations of Covid-19.

The DOH official urged the public to refrain from attending all forms of social gatherings including “tupada” and to avoid poorly ventilated rooms or houses.


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