NORTHERN Mindanao Medical Center recently opened its newly constructed medical ward “to serve more patients of Northern Mindanao.”

The new medical ward is located at the third floor of NMMC’s phase one building. It can house up to 70 patients once all rooms are completely finished and will cater to the medical needs of both private and charity patients as it has pay and service wards.

It has two nurses’ stations and will be manned by up to 30 medical and nursing staff to optimize the delivery of quality care to the three wards — male and female and reverse isolation wards.

With the end goal of decongesting the number of patients waiting to get at least a bed from a particular ward, as most patients wait at the Emergency Room (ER) with some patients waiting for up to days or even weeks for a bed to be available for them, a new Medical Ward was constructed to meet the demands of rising patient census.

Ideally, the ER is where the health care personnel “categorizes” the patient’s case. It is the clinical area wherein doctors decide whether to admit the patient or not and based on the nature of the patient’s disease, decides what department or ward to place them.

In NMMC, the ER can only accommodate up to an average of 16 “transient” patients at a time as there are only 16 stretchers divided evenly into three major triage departments namely, medicine, surgery and pediatrics. Should patient census rise above the ceiling limit, the hospital is left no other options but to place some of its patients to alleys or any vacant spaces such as alongside the stairs or hallways. They remain on these “dead spaces” until such time a bed from a particular ward, let’s say Medical ward, and is already available after the previous patient who has occupied it is either discharged or has expired.

Being a level 4 tertiary hospitals, NMMC caters to referred patients whose cases needed specialized health care from across the region and nearby municipalities.

Such cases may include but not limited to complicated stages of communicable and non-communicable diseases, life threatening heart conditions and cases of high-risk pregnancy deliveries.

For NMMC chief of hospital Dr. Jose Chan, of all the cases encountered at NMMC, majority of its patients needed the specialized services of an internist or of the Internal Medicine (IM) Department and these cases are too bulky.

It is also noted that the turnover of patients maybe sluggish as most patients who belong to the lower socioeconomic status from across the region flock to NMMC faster than patients that would be discharged. Thus, explains the accumulation of pending patients at the ER.

The construction of the ward commenced late February this year with an estimated government budget of P7.4 million.

by Paul John A. Vesagas of Sun Star

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