DOH to enforce “Buddy System” during onslaught of typhoon “Ruby”

By Leilani S. Junio

MANILA, (PNA) — The Department of Health said Friday that it is set to implement “Buddy System” to ensure that health-care service delivery will not be hampered when the expected “super-typhoon Ruby” affected the health concerns of the people in the areas in its path.

“Under this “Buddy System”, the DOH regional offices and retained hospitals will be augmenting the resources of their counterpart regions that needs assistance,” said Dr. Cirilo Galindez, DOH director for emergency management during a press briefing held at the Media Relations Unit in Tayuman, Sta. Cruz, Manila.

Galindez said that under the system, which would be used for the first time, the regional offices and DOH-retained hospitals are assigned to the corresponding affected region.

“They (referring to the Buddy System) will network as a family wherein if one hospital is affected by typhoon, there will be a supporting mechanism,” Galindez said.

Dr. Gerardo Bayugo, DOH Assistant Secretary added that through the system, the least affected personnel of the region who have more capability to extend the augmentation can immediately dispatched the healthcare personnel, medicines and other medical needs on the “trapped” regional team of DOH who were directly affected.

“That will save a lot of time,” Bayugo said, adding that the buddy network already know how are they going to work on thus minimizing delayed in response.

He also said that based on the lessons learned from ‘Super typhoon Yolanda’ last year, most of the heath teams or hospitals expected to extend assistance were victims themselves or primarily needing assistance because the health workers themselves or their family were trapped to the destruction.

In addition to the said preparations they are closely coordinating with World Health Organization (WHO) for the satellite phones that will be needed for more quick and reliable communications for faster delivery of health services.

Under the system of “Buddy System,” Region X and NCR (National Capital Region) were assigned to assist the possibly affected Regions IV-B (MIMAROPA) and VIII (Easter Visayas).

Same also with Regions IV-A and IX which were expected to be willing to assist Region V (Bicol).

Region I and IX to Region VI (Western Visayas); Regions II and XI to Region VII (Central Visayas); and Region III and CARAGA to Region VIII (Eastern Visayas).

The DOH also said that “Code Blue Alert” was activated wherein standby teams are alerted or 50 percent of all hospitals personnel of DOH retained hospitals shall report for duty in the facility to render medical and other services.

Those under Code Blue Alert included Ospital ng Palawan, Puerto Princesa City, Palawan, Culion Sanitarium and General Hospital, Culion Island, all in Region IV-B; Bicol Medical Center, Naga City, Bicol Regional Training and Teaching Hospital, Legazpi City and Bicol Sanitarium, Cabusao, Camarines Sur, in Region V;

Western Visayas Medical Center, Iloilo City, Corazon Locsin Montelibano Memorial Regional Hospital, Bacolod City,Western Visayas Sanitarium, Sta. Barbara, Iloilo and Don Jose S. Monfort Medical Center, Barotac Nuevo, Iloilo, all in Region VI;

Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center, Cebu City, Saint Anthony Mother and Child Hospital, Cebu City, Eversley Childs Sanitarium, Mandaue City, Cebu and Gov. Celestino Gallares Memorial Hospital, Tagbilaran City, in Region VII, and Eastern Visayas Regional Medical Center, Tacloban City, Leyte and Schistosomiasis Control and Research Hospital, Palo, Leyte in Region VIII.

Drugs, medicines, and other supplies worth Php 243 million have also been allocated in the regions.(PNA)