Health groups back Duque amid call for his resignation

Health groups back Duque amid call for his resignation

MANILA – Medical and hospital associations nationwide expressed on Tuesday their support for Health Secretary Francisco Duque III as he continues to serve the country in the thick of the fight against coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic.

In a solidarity statement, the Philippine Medical Association (PMA), Philippine Hospital Association (PHA), Private Hospital Association of the Philippines (PHAPi), and the Philippine College of Hospital Administrators (PCHA) lauded how Duque leads the Department of Health in dealing with the pandemic.

The associations issued the statement after several senators filed a resolution calling for his immediate resignation due to “failure of leadership, negligence, lack of foresight, and inefficiency” in handling the response to the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19).

“We in the PMA-PHA-PHAPi-PCHA put so much faith and ten-out-of-ten score in the manner that the DOH led by Secretary Francisco Duque III is handling the medical side of the Covid-19 crisis given what is available and its limited resources at the moment. We don’t change horses in the middle of the stream and instead, we should hold on to one another’s hand tight so that, faced with this viral storm, we cross the stream together,” the groups’ statement said.

It said Duque’s decision is the “sum of all the efforts of the private and government experts” as epidemiologists, microbiologists, virologists, infectious disease specialists, and other medical experts are “monitoring the Covid-19 situation daily and are constantly communicating strategies to end the battle against the disease”.

“Every minute, all data, both local and international, are gathered and collated. The exchanges of notes and expertise constantly burn the lanes of the internet and probably unknown to the public, the output of these discussions about the virus is then communicated to the DOH through the Philippine Society for Microbiology and Infectious Diseases, Philippine College of Physicians and Philippine Society of Pathologists,” it added.

Citing that Covid-19 is caused by a novel virus, the groups’ statement said that defeating the disease and management of the cases, deaths, and pandemic it has caused would not be easy.

“The use of the testing kits, RT-PCR tests, and antibody-testing results are just as deceiving as to how the treacherous virus presents itself, but in the long term we will corner this virus and place it to its final resting place and this is when the vaccine will become available in a year at least,” it said. Ma. Teresa Montemayor /PNA – northboundasia.com