La Trinidad, Benguet– The provincial government admitted that it has become difficult to recruit specialists in the medical field to administer the management and operation of its quarantine facility following the recent surge in the number of confirmed Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) cases.
Gov. Melchor D. Diclas disclosed that there are still no takers in the position of specialist being offered to medical professionals to start the full operation of the provincial quarantine facility located in the evacuation center in Barangay Wangal despite the need for such key people to administer the affairs of the facility based on the guidelines of the health department.
Further, he claimed the operation of a quarantine facility entails huge expenses on the part of the provincial government because the computed expenditures for personnel and other operating cost is more or less P2 million monthly which can exhaust the province’s meager resources thus significantly affecting its fiscal position.
The governor stated that there are interested applicants for the other positions in the quarantine facility but it is difficult to convince medical professionals to accept the key positions in the facility despite the availability of physicians.
However, Diclas explained that one of the measures being considered by the provincial government is to pool the specialists from the Benguet General Hospital (BeGH) and the other district hospitals in the province for them to render volunteer duty in the quarantine facility in a rotation basis to make it operational, especially when there will be a sudden surge in cases that will congest the BeGH.
According to him, the BeGH is still capable of accommodating the current confirmed COVID patients but there will be a problem if successive cases are confirmed that may cause the provincial government to fully operate the 30-bed quarantine facility.
From the province’s 14 confirmed COVID cases last June 10, 2020, the same surged to 36 as of June 18, 2020, that is, within a span of eight days.
Diclas revealed the contract for the key administrative positions of the quarantine facility is on a quarterly basis and he is wondering why there are no medical professionals signifying interest to take the post while pursuing their practice.
The provincial government, on the other hand, is also coordinating with the administration of the Benguet State University (BSU) for the operation of the BSU dormitory as an additional quarantine facility although the same is still subject to the approval of the Commission on Higher Education (CHED).
He said provincial and municipal officials are keeping their fingers crossed there will be no sudden surge in confirmed COVID cases, what with returning locally stranded individuals (LSIs) and Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs), because the same will definitely have a significant impact on the capacity of existing health facilities to handle the said cases.
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