The Secretary of Health Francisco T. Duque III joined the Field Implementation and Coordination Team emergency meeting with NCR Medical Center Chiefs in a video conference meeting this Easter morning, 10AM at the East Avenue Medical Center (EAMC).  


“On behalf of the Department, we are grateful for the unparalleled service and your continued support to the Filipino people in these troubling times. We salute your heroism,” the Health Chief said in his opening remarks. 


The Secretary acknowledged the many challenges faced by health facilities at the frontlines of the COVID-19 response and the creative and innovative ways by which they have addressed these, reassuring Medical Center Chiefs of the DOH Central Office’s continued support and assistance. 


The Health Chief also conveyed how inspired he was by the sense of community in health facilities whose members, caring deeply about the safety and well-being of their colleagues, contribute fiercely to efforts such as providing more PPEs and supplies, looking for needed suppliers and service providers, and reaching out to authorities to relay their concerns.  


“This truly reflects the Bayanihan spirit necessary to win the fight against COVID-19. However, to become more agile and more responsive, we have to be organized. We need to consolidate and avoid duplication of our efforts,” he said. 


Medical Center Chiefs were reminded to maintain open lines of communication—regularly and clearly inform their teams on actions taken to address operational issues, to proactively seek concerns and grievances from their staff that they may be immediately addressed, and to immediately report such concerns through the appropriate channels. 


The DOH also appeals to Medical Center Chiefs, health care workers, to immediately report concerns directly to the DOH and the public to be more circumspect in posting information that unduly causes panic. “Our lines have always been open, more so in this time of great challenge. Let us work together. Your information could help us avert a crisis.” the Health Chief concluded.  


Update on EAMC Investigation 


Earlier, the Health Secretary inspected the facility and met with its management amidst reports of cadavers piling-up in the hospital morgue. 


The EAMC Management Team reported that on Saturday morning, it has met with various government agencies to address the concern. Following this, arrangements with LGUs, MMDA, and other stakeholders have been made for the speedy transport and cremation/burial of cadavers, to contain any risk these may pose.  


The Quezon City Council was tasked to manage any unclaimed bodies and shoulder the cost of cremation if funding from next of kin is unavailable. EAMC disclosed that it has long been looking for a mobile freezer to accommodate the bodies to be claimed, be it a COVID-19 case or not. Its delivery yesterday, will help resolve the limited space in its mortuary. Additional body bags were received by EAMC Hospital Director Dr. Alfonso Nuñez this morning.