AgNor solon pushes for Caraga Regional Hospital as COVID testing, screening center
BUTUAN CITY, April 12 — Instead of restricting COVID-19-related patient admissions, Agusan del Norte Rep. Lawrence “Law” Fortun urged the Department of Health (DOH) to equip and capacitate the Caraga Regional Hospital (CRH) laboratory to make it a COVID testing and screening center in Caraga Region.
This call was made after the Sangguniang Panlungsod of Surigao City passed a resolution to limit COVID-19 (Coronavirus Disease 2019)-related admissions in the CRH to those from the provinces of Surigao del Norte and Dinagat Islands only.
“Instead, I appeal that we all come together and collectively push that the DOH equip and capacitate the Caraga Regional Hospital laboratory to make it a COVID-19 testing and screening center that will cater to the demands of the entire Caraga Region,” Fortun said.
“While there is still only one confirmed case in Caraga, the number of PUIs (Patients Under Investigation) is continuously rising, and recent rapid tests revealed several presumptive positive cases needing immediate confirmatory tests. There is no way we can determine the real numbers unless we pursue mass testing. This also gives our health care system a clear direction on immediate and appropriate interventions to be made,” he added.
As noted by the lawmaker, it currently takes significantly longer to know the results of tests on patients from Caraga Region because the collected specimens still have to be brought to the Southern Philippines Medical Center (SPMC) in Davao City, which is already overwhelmed by the demands of Davao Region alone.
He also noted that Caraga alone is huge, having five provinces and six cities with several municipalities remotely situated.
While there is already a proposal submitted by the CRH to the DOH, Rep. Fortun urged all the Sanggunians of Caraga Region to pass resolutions calling for the DOH to make the CRH laboratory a COVID testing and screening facility.
“I appeal to the governors, mayors, and representatives of Caraga that we collectively lobby for this as part of a nationwide measure for mass testing. Mass testing is imperative and an essential component of this is to immediately put up more testing and screening facilities in strategic locations around the country. The most strategic for Caraga is the Caraga Regional Hospital,” said Fortun.
Rep. Fortun said that the Caraga Regional Task Force for COVID-19 One Caraga Shield can also urge the DOH to put up this center to cater to Caraga Region. This is seen to be most welcome for the Davao Region as this will effectively lessen the burden and backlog of the already overwhelmed SPMC in Davao City. (First Congressional District of Agusan del Norte/PIA-Agusan del Norte)