December 4, 2022

LA TRINIDAD, Benguet – The province launched its One Hospital Command Center (OHCC) that follows a systematic and centralized referral system of Covid-19 patients to appropriate health facilities.

Provincial Health Office Head Nora Ruiz said the OHCC started operation last April 22 with Darwin Simsim as acting manager.

The OHCC is a unified response to the Covid-19 such that patients are guaranteed a slot at an available and appropriate healthcare facility. Its role is to coordinate referrals, conduct data analysis, and do clinical services.

A protocol will be followed in referring patients to the center. This is based on initial diagnosis and assessment of either the Municipal Health Officer or chief of hospital or their alternates who are also the ones authorized to directly refer the patients to the OHCC and not anybody else, Ruiz said.

Simsim said based on the real-time data on the available and appropriate health facility, the center coordinator dispatches the patient for admission to either an isolation facility or to a hospital.

The Benguet OHCC operates 24/7 with three shifts manned initially by 12 staff members. The hotline numbers are 0937-628-4961, 0951-858-8752, and 0951-670-1981.

A focal person is assigned per health facility to monitor vacancies and coordinate this with the center.

There are eight isolation facilities and 10 government and private hospitals in the province.

Simsim said OHCC clinical services are not yet operational as there are no physicians available.

Ruiz said with the presence of the centralized system, the patients for admission will be properly coordinated to avoid the agony of waiting for an available slot.

She admitted there were instances where some patients had to wait and stay for quite some time inside the ambulance waiting for a vacant health facility, but with the OHCC this will   now be avoided. – Susan C. Aro