DPWH expands healthcare infrastructure amid national emergency

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The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) continues to expand  healthcare infrastructure by extending technical guidance to expedite the construction of additional hospital facilities in Metro Manila for COVID-19 patients. 

Secretary Mark A. Villar said that the DPWH Task Force to Facilitate Augmentation of Local and National Healthcare Facilities has  strengthen its partnership with the National Task Force COVID-19 and the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) in carrying out assessment of hospital projects. 

Under the second phase of the national action plan against COVID-19 Coordinated Operations to Defeat Epidemic or COVID-19 CODE Team, the DPWH is among the line agencies helping develop strategies, plans and measures to provide expanded space necessary to treat patients with COVID-19 safely, added Secretary Villar.

In his report to Secretary Villar, Undersecretary and Task Force head Emil K. Sadain identified the following hospitals that requested facilities and technical assistance: East Avenue Medical Center (EAMC) in Quezon City, Lung Center of the Philippines (LCP) in Quezon City; Dr. Jose Rodriguez Memorial Hospital (DJRMH) in Caloocan City; and Philippine General Hospital (PGH) in City of Manila. 

Secretary Carlito G. Galvez Jr., chief implementer of national action plan against COVID-19, together with Undersecretary Sadain and Department of Health (DOH) Undersecretary Leopoldo Vega held a meeting with the management of the four (4) hospitals for action planning to speed-up the building of additional medical facilities with more beds to address COVID-19 cases. 

According to Undersecratary Sadain, the ongoing building project at EAMC is now being fast-tracked and with the ongoing pace of activities, it is expected that additional 250 patients will be accomodated at the new building by August 17.

DPWH was also tapped by LCP management and is now working to construct an offsite modular hospital inside LCP compound that can accommodate up to 24 moderate COVID-19 patients. The off-site hospital will have individual isolation room per patient complete with own bathroom and toilet, and a CCTV cardiac monitoring and oxygen pipeline for ventilation.  

At the DJRMH which caters mainly to moderate and severe COVID-19 cases, another off-site modular hospital will be constructed by the DPWH for 24 intensive care patients. It was also discussed that a 32-bed capacity off-site healthworkers’ dorm will be constructed at the DJRMH. 

During the meeting, DPWH also reiterated its commitment to provide technical assistance to complete various treatment facilities and increase COVID-19 bed capacity of PGH. 

More healthcare-related construction are in the pipeline of DPWH throughout the country — with construction teams working around the clock to complete project at an incredible pace, said Undersecretary Sadain.