The deployment of 39 doctors from Western Visayas, six of whom are from Negros Occidental, to Cebu City has temporarily been held in abeyance, Regional Director Marlyn Convocar of the Department of Health 6 said yesterday.
The DOH Central Office directed the immediate deployment of medical teams from Western Visayas to Cebu City where there has been an increasing number of new COVID-19 cases and widespread community transmission of the virus, Convocar said.
The DOH in Western Visayas identified 25 physicians under the Doctors-to-the Barrios and 14 under the Post Residency Deployment Program to be sent to Cebu in four batches from June 29 to September 5.
Each batch will render 14 days of duty and undergo a 14-day mandatory quarantine period, she said.
Convocar said that, as the country remains in a state of public health emergency with the COVID-19 pandemic and cases are reaching a critical point in Cebu City, the DOH in Western Visayas is “calling for nationalism in the hearts of public health care workers to join the call for service where service is most needed”.
In Negros Occidental, the six doctors called to be deployed in Cebu are currently assigned in Murcia, Hinoba-an, Himamaylan, La Castellana, Toboso and Ilog.
However Dr. Ernell Tumimbang, Negros Occidental provincial health officer, said he hopes the DOH will reconsider sending these doctors to Cebu.
He said Negros Occidental is preparing for the massive return of Negrenses to the province and cases are going up so it also needs the six doctors.
It will create a vacuum in our health services, Tumimbang said.
“The battle cry is ‘we heal as one’, so I think the DOH feels there is a need for more doctors to address the situation on Cebu,” Gov. Eugenio Jose Lacson said.
However, the LGUs affected prefer not to send the doctors to Cebu but he does not know if they have a choice, Lacson said.*
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