In preparation for the potential surge of COVID-19 cases after the holidays, the Department of Health (DOH) called on private hospitals to comply with the prescribed COVID-19 bed allocation under DOH Administrative Order (AO) No. 2020-016.


“Nananawagan po kami sa mga pribadong ospital na tumalima sa minamandatong COVID-19 bed allocation,” Health Secretary Francisco T. Duque III said during the DOH’s December 9 media forum.


The DOH in July amended AO No. 2020-016 which sets minimum health system capacity standards for both private and public sectors involved in the COVID-19 response. In the amended AO, public hospitals are directed to allocate at least 30% of its total bed capacity for COVID-19 cases, while private hospitals should allot at least 20%. As of December 7, DOH recorded a nationwide average of 30% hospital bed allocation in public hospitals and 13% for private.


Kahit may mga pribadong ospital po na nakakasunod sa mandated allocation, sa kabuuan, Region XIII pa lamang po ang may sapat na bilang ng allocated beds sa kanilang mga pam-pribdaong ospital. We would like to commend private hospitals na nakakasunod sa mandatong ito,” Sec. Duque said.


In his meeting today with the AC Health management, the Ayala group explained to the Health Chief their recent expansions in the COVID bed capacity of hospitals located in key areas of Laguna and Bulacan to assist the government mitigate the further spread of COVID-19.


Sec. Duque was pleased to hear the initiatives and lauded the private company for increasing the COVID bed capacities in their hospitals way beyond the mandated 20%. He noted that the management’s decision to go beyond what is mandated truly helps in alleviating the health system capacity of our nation.


“We are thankful for going above and beyond what is required and for providing access to not only COVID-19 patients, but also to those who suffer from other illnesses. We hope it serves as a reminder that COVID-19 is not a fight of any one person but is ours as a collective, and we will only be able to subdue it through open collaboration and partnership with other sectors to ensure the delivery of quality and affordable health care.” Sec. Duque said.


In their discussion, Sec. Duque emphasized the importance of private sector initiatives and cooperation, and reiterated his call for private hospitals to adhere to the prescribed COVID-19 bed allocation. Sec. Duque also reported that the DOH Executive Committee has directed the One Hospital Command Center and the DOH Health Regulations Team to develop and execute strategies ensuring that hospitals comply with the mandated COVID-19 bed allocation.


“Everyone now is preparing for the holidays. While the DOH, the government and the IATF respond to the situation, implement measures to increase COVID-19 response capacity, and mitigate risks of COVID-19 transmission, our health system capacity should also ensure its continued preparation for a possible post-holiday surge. We should prepare for possible scenarios,” he added.