Filipino medical frontliners battle not only COVID-19 but also demoralization as the Philippines struggles to contain the viral disease. As of July 26, the country has recorded 35 deaths among health workers due to coronavirus.
While the Duterte administration has allotted P1 million for health workers who died because of COVID-19, Dr. Monica Pia Reyes Montecillo, an internal medicine and infectious disease specialist, said that no life is worth the said amount. Meanwhile, Dr. John Jefferson Besa, a senior resident of Internal Medicine-PGH, asked the Department of Health (DOH) to establish a clear referral system between hospitals to accept and manage non-COVID patients.
Montecillo and Besa were among the participants in the virtual forum hosted by the Philippine College of Physicians, Philippine Society for Microbiology and Infectious Diseases, Philippine College of Chest Physicians, Philippine Pediatric Society, and the Philippine General Hospital Physicians Association. The health groups asked the government to include expanded quarantine facilities for asymptomatic and mild cases; intensified contact tracing; increased PPEs, hospital supplies, drugs, and manpower; proper compensation; and better healthcare worker–patient ratio.