LGUs urged to set up Covid-19 incident command centers, hotlines

MANILA – A health official on Wednesday urged local government units (LGUs) to set up their own incident command centers and telemedicine hotlines to ease the load of hospital emergency rooms and One Hospital Command Center call queue.

In an online media forum, Department of Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire reported that the One Hospital Command Center hotline is currently receiving an average of 300 to 400 plus calls per day.

The One Hospital Command Center facilitates a comprehensive and coordinated response to the pandemic by ensuring effective and efficient health facility referral in Metro Manila.

Alam ko po marami nagrereklamo, hindi makapasok ang tawag, laging busy, laging ring nang ring kasi po lagi walang tigil ang tawag ng ating mga kababayan dito (I know many are complaining, their calls don’t get through, lines are always busy, always ringing, because many of our countrymen call this line all the time), Vergeire said.

She added that they have already asked telecommunications companies to add more lines that can accommodate more calls for assistance.

Citing that One Hospital Command Center’s structure is “national in nature”, Vergeire noted there are regional offices people can call for quick assistance to their concerns such as the need for hospitalization.

“Telemedicine would help us a lot but our recommendation, local governments also set up their incident command and telemedicine hotlines. Ang mga kababayan po natin sa LGUs nagpa-panic sila ngayon, natatakot sila (our fellow citizens in the LGUs, they panic, they’re scared), once they’re found positive or they have symptoms the immediate reaction of a person is I will go to the hospital,” she said.

Vergeire added that the establishment of LGU command centers or telemedicine programs would allow them to triage patients ahead, thus, preventing emergency rooms of hospitals from getting full.

“For your medical needs during quarantine, you can call the DOH hotline at 1555 or 02-894-COVID,” Vergeire said.

To consult with licensed doctors via video call or schedule an online appointment, the public can log into any of these websites:

CloudPx: https://econsult.cloudmd.com.ph/

HealthNowPH: https://healthnow.ph/

SeeYouDoc: https://www.seeyoudoc.com (the mobile app also downloadable at iOS or Google Play) 

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