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NMMC overcrowded, short of hospital beds

The Northern Mindanao Medical Center (NMMC) is overcrowded with patients and short of hospital beds.

This was the clarification made by doctors of the NMMC during the meeting of the City Council committee on health, nutrition, and health insurance chaired by Councilor Maria Lourdes S. Gaane last week as it discusses the special report of Councilor James K. Judith II during the 21st regular session of the 20th City Council presided over by Vice Mayor Jocelyn B. Rodriguez, regarding alleged inefficient patient referral system of the hospital.

Dr. Jovencio A. Roa, NMMC chief of Emergency Room (ER), stated that as soon as patients arrives at the ER, a triage officer promptly gathers information and refers them to the appropriate department.

He said NMMC even has an ER Ward just to accommodate patients since they have a standing policy not to refuse patients who need immediate medical attention.

In her presentation of the DOH-approved referral flow of NMMC, Dr. Donna Dee M. Acenas said the Regional Epidemiology Surveillance and Disaster Response Unit (RESDRU) was created by the DOH during the time of COVID-19 to give text referrals to all hospitals including JRBGH and private hospitals, even the Oro Rescue. A triage officer will assess the case of a patient and will be catered by ER nurses.

If there are cases of critically ill patients, a quick response is applied. “Dili na moagi og RESDRU”, said Dr. Acenas.

Dr. Devie R. Daguman affirmed that a certain child was admitted at the ER last November 8, 2022 and immediately admitted to the Critical Care Unit (CCU) but the patient unfortunately passed away at the ward, not in the ER.

For his part, Councilor Malvern Exparcia thanked the NMMC doctors for the enlightenment and commended the hospital for admitting patients who are even outside the ER.

Vice Mayor Jocelyn Rodriguez said we just have to follow the protocol or guidelines of NMMC regardless of the status of a patient. “We cannot do anything. We just have to follow… regardless of rich or poor,” she stressed.

Councilor Gaane defended the NMMC health personnel, saying they are trying their best to attend to patients. “Malooy lang ko sa atong health personnel nga trying gyud”, she said.

Present during the meeting were Councilors Imme Moreno, Suzette Magtajas-Daba, Yvy Emano, Aga Suan, and Jay R. Pascual.


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