Fast lane for health workers at checkpoints sought

The chief of the Region 1 Medical Center (R1MC), a Department of Health (DOH)-run hospital located here, is appealing to law enforcers to set up a fast lane for hospital personnel at checkpoints.

"Nakikiusap ako, lalo na sa Pangasinan PNP Director, sana sabihan nila ang mga pulis sa mga checkpoints na huwag pahirapan lumampas o dumaan ang mga hospital personnel. Kailangan po sila sa ospital (I plead with the Pangasinan Police Provincial director to mandate the police manning the checkpoints to not hold longer the hospital personnel. They are needed at the hospitals," R1MC director Dr. Joseph Roland Mejia told a press conference Wednesday.

He said unlike other government agencies or offices, hospitals do not apply the skeletal operation.

Mejia said all DOH health facilities shall remain in full operation based on the directive of DOH Secretary Francisco Duque III.

“I ask the Philippine National Police to orient the police to fast-track checking for health facility employees, especially those from the R1MC, as we are implementing the quarantine system under the inter-agency task force on Covid-19 (coronavirus disease 2019)," he added.

Mejia said Dagupan City government, through Mayor Marc Brian Lim and the Pangasinan State University (PSU) headed by its President Dexter Buted, lent vehicles to R1MC.

“Together with the hospital's own coaster vehicle, these will be used in transporting personnel to and from the hospital,” he added.

Pick-up and drop-off points outside the city will be established. Personnel from other hospitals will also be allowed to ride.

Meanwhile, Mejia said R1MC has 54 isolation rooms for Covid-19 patients under investigation (PUI).

He said the hospital is prepared for any eventuality, citing the protective gear for its personnel who are well-trained in handling emerging and re-emerging diseases.

R1MC's Hospital Epidemiology Center (HEC) is in close coordination with the Provincial Health Office, the private hospitals, and DOH Regional Epidemiology Surveillance Unit, he added.

Mejia reiterated the importance of religiously following the protocol set by DOH as well as the community quarantine ordered by President Rodrigo Duterte.

He also thanked non-government organizations and businessmen for donating food for the hospital front liners.

Source: Philippines News Agency