Assistance provided to NKTI amid influx of patients

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, November 25) — Department of Health (DOH) officer-in-charge Maria Rosario Vergeire on Friday said assistance has been provided to the National Kidney and Transplant Institute (NKTI) after it reported an influx of patients.

On Nov. 23, the NKTI announced that its emergency room has breached full capacity as more patients who need dialysis, as well as those hit with leptospirosis and COVID-19 get admitted in the facility. 

“Additional burden po iyan para sa (That is additional burden for the) NKTI, but we are trying to manage,” Vergeire told CNN Philippines’ The Source.

Vergeire said NKTI has placed additional dialysis machines in its gymnasium but lack of manpower remains a problem. The Philippine National Police and Armed Forces of the Philippines were immediately tapped to have their healthcare teams deployed to the NKTI, she added.

Yung ibang mga ospital naman na maaaring tumanggap [ng pasyente] para ma-unload natin ang NKTI, ang Tala [Hospital] po at tsaka ang East Avenue (Medical Center) responded already,” the DOH official said.

[Translation: The other hospitals that can accept patients to unload NKTI, Tala Hospital and East Avenue Medical Center, responded already.]

She added other hospitals are currently discharging some of their patients to accommodate those who can’t be admitted in the NKTI.

To address the influx of dialysis patients, Vergeire said the DOH is already trying to set up more dialysis facilities across the country.

Meanwhile, Vergeire also welcomed the call of Sen. Raffy Tulfo to transfer ₱2 billion of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources’ budget and other “underperforming government agencies” to the National Children’s Hospital (NCH) to improve the latter’s facilities. 

Vergeire, however, noted there's no more space in the NCH.

“No room to expand na po diyan sa ospital na yan dahil nga po masikip na yung kanilang lugar… hindi po tayo makapagset up masyado ng improvements as to additional buildings so that we can unburden or unload this current building that they have,” she said.

[Translation: There is no more room to expand in that hospital already because their place is already crowded. We cannot set up improvement as to additional buildings so that we can unburden or unload this current building that they have.]