AFP-DOH pact to define scope of deployment of military medical personnel to hospitals with high COVID-19 cases

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The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) will enter into an agreement with the Department of Health (DOH) to determine the scope of its military medical personnel’s deployment to hospitals with a high percentage of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) cases.

AFP Surgeon General Col. Fatima Claire Navarro said in a statement Wednesday that the pact would be based on “the experiences and exigencies” of both agencies, citing the previous deployment of AFP medical teams and personnel in the cities of Cebu and Davao to aid in pandemic response efforts as an example.

“It will detail the specific number of military doctors, nurses, and nursing aides that will be deployed as needed by the hospitals as well as the duration of their deployment to hospitals in need of support,” Navarro said.

The agreement, which will be implemented by the AFP Health Service Command and guided by the Office of the Surgeon General, defines the scope of cooperation between military medical units and health care facilities.

“This agreement will solidify our continued support to our national government and manifests our commitment to win in our fight to end the (coronavirus disease 2019) Covid-19 pandemic,” Navarro said.

During his Talk to the People last week, President Rodrigo Duterte appealed to the medical personnel of the police and the military to help hospitals that are struggling with a high number of Covid-19 cases and amid reports that big hospitals were closing down their Covid-19 wards due to lack of health workers.

In response to the call, the AFP said it would deploy five medical teams to augment the manpower of identified hospitals in the National Capital Region.

Two teams will come from the Philippine Army and one each from the AFP Health Services Command, Philippine Navy and Philippine Air Force.

Each team is composed of a doctor, a nurse and three aidmen.

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