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National Policy Against Covid-19 chief implementer and Presidential Peace Adviser, Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr. / PNA

Galvez pushes healthcare modernization 

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Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr., chief implementer of the National Policy Against Covid-19, pushed for the modernization of the country's healthcare system. 

"Kailangan po talaga — ako po, Mr. President, on my personal opinion — kailangan na po nating i-modernize ang ating healthcare system (We need it—on my personal opinion Mr. President, we need to modernize our healthcare system),” Galvez, also the presidential peace adviser, said during President Rodrigo Durterte's public address.

The healthcare system has been overlooked for so long, he said.

"Nakikita po natin na malaki ang gap ngayon nating hinaharap (we are realizing the huge gaps with what we are facing now)," he added.

Apart from the dilemma brought by the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) pandemic, Galvez said the top 10 non-Covid leading causes of deaths in the country are also spiking.

“Palakasin po natin talaga ang mga hospital po natin na mga nakatutok po dito sa mga tinatawag nating 10 leading causes of death para po maging prepared po din tayo na ‘yong mga non-Covid cases ay maalalayan din po natin (We should strengthen the hospitals attending to the top 10 leading causes of death, so we can prepare to provide services to non-Covid patients),” Galvez said.

On the other hand, Galvez said he asked Senator Bong Go to push for the modernization of the healthcare system in the Senate.

"At lumalapit po ako kay Senator Bong Go na talagang i-push po sa Senado na i-modernize po natin ang (I already requested Sen. Bong Go to push the modernization of Department of Health in the Senate)," he said.

"We need to — to modernize our special hospitals considering, ito po talaga nakikita natin sa datos po na number of death every year tumataas po, mas mataas pa po sa Covid (as the show there is an increasing number of deaths every year, which is higher than Covid)," Galvez said.

Galvez, however, recognized that modernization could take a while.

Meanwhile, Galvez said the government is intensifying its isolation efforts for positive cases that do not have the capacity to do home quarantine.

He said there are about 79 hotels that can facilitate 7,114 beds for isolation.

Galvez thanked Duterte for securing a PHP4.5-billion budget allotment under Bayanihan to Recover as One (Bayanihan 2), which can be used for building isolation facilities and partnering with hotels to cater to about 128,000 positive cases for a 14-day quarantine.

He said the government is now working on the construction of more hospital beds, intensive care unit (ICU) beds, and isolation beds to cater to the Covid-19 patients.

He said 1,006 more Covid-19 dedicated hospital beds will be soon available by November 2020.

"So talaga pong pinapabilisan po ang mga construction po nito (We are now hastening these constructions)," he added.

Aside from building more quarantine facilities, Galvez said the allocated budget will also be used to construct more field hospitals, dormitories for the front-liners as well as boosting other medical needs nationwide. 

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