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MakatiMed shares valuable insights from COVID-19, preps us for adapting to a Healthy Normal

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The state-of-the-art and expanded Makati Medical Center

By Alithea De Jesus

The country’s medical and health industry faces the most challenging time during the pandemic especially during the surge of coronavirus, especially during March wherein many private hospitals in Metro Manila had to stop admitting COVID-19 positive patients as they have already reached the full capacity in terms of providing services.

Being the Philippines’ premier hospital, the Makati Medical Center (MakatiMed) is one of the hospitals at the forefront of the pandemic. They found themselves in a central role with the first surge of COVID-19 patients back in March and April. With the timely and effective implementation of protocols and collaboration among doctors across demographic and expertise, the hospital was able to respond quickly to manage both influx of patients and ensure the safety and welfare of its frontliners.

Duting the Exclusive Media Roundtable Session, MakatiMed Medical Director, Saturnino Javier, MD shared, “through the pandemic, we have tried to respond three to five steps ahead of the situation.” The hospital, led by Dr. Javier at the onset of the pandemic in the country, rolled out strict infection prevention and control protocols, expansion of bed capacities, infrastructure adjustments, accreditation of its laboratory for COVID-19 testing, enhancement of communication platforms, and adoption of telemedicine, among others to cope with the healthcare crisis.

 

Makati Medical Center Medical Director, Saturnino Javier, MD


And this seems to have been key as MakatiMed consistently posted a high rate of recovery for the COVID-19 patients it has under its care. As of October 16, the numbers stand as such for the hospital: 5,321 cases, 140 deaths (2.6%), and 5,072 recoveries (95%).

Dr. Javier underlines a number of insights MakatiMed has gained through the experience, which he hopes everyone will be able to learn from, and better, formally documented “like a stress test of all that we’ve been through.” Foremost of these, would be that communication in times of crisis is essential, as misinformation and fake news drive risks and tensions higher. He also points out that “In mitigating the impact of a pandemic, nothing is ever too much, too fast, or too soon.”

 

MakatiMed has implemented strict Always Safe protocols to ensure that those going to the hospital’s ED will have no exposure and interaction with suspected COVID-19 patients


Dr. Javier emphasizes that the “safety and lives of personnel and staff should take precedence over revenues,” which we all saw particularly during the case surge in July which bogged down an already burdened healthcare workforce. And that essentially, “We need to coexist with the virus.”

As 2020 closes out, and the country further eases into this new reality, MakatiMed faces the coming year with a call for living not just a new normal but a healthy normal. Coming onboard just this September, the hospital’s new President & CEO, Atty. Pilar Nenuca Almira, looks to the expansion of certain centers and services, acquisition of new equipment, improving patient registration, strengthening of the hospital’s core competencies, and bringing MakatiMed services closer to the communities and making these affordable as key initiatives for 2021. 

 

Makati Medical Center President & CEO, Atty. Pilar Nenuca Almira


“After what we’ve all gone through this year, MakatiMed continues its commitment to its patients and community,” she says. “As a healthcare institution, we always strive for better health outcomes for patients. And whether that’s through helping bring down the cost of healthcare, supporting through advocacies or serving the marginalized, we are working hard to do so.”

For more information, please contact MakatiMed On-Call at +632 8888 8999, email mmc@makatimed.net.ph, or visit www.makatimed.net.ph.

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