A congressman suggested that the Department of Health use military hospitals in dealing with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) patients.

“While government civilian hospitals and private medical facilities are in round-the-clock operations to address the infectious menace, little is heard of the involvement of the various military hospitals under the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the Veterans Memorial Hospital under the Department of National Defense (DND,” Rep. Edcel Lagman of Albay stressed.

With several hospitals and healthcare facilities in Metro Manila reaching full capacity, the military hospitals should be ready to take in COVID-19 patients.

Lagman bared that major military hospitals have a combined bed capacity of 2,451 — Veterans Memorial Medical Center has 766 beds, Army General Hospital at 200, Air Force General Hospital has 100, Navy General Hospital and Cavite Naval Hospital at 185, and AFP Medical Center or more popularly known as the V. Luna Medical Center with the largest bed capacity at 1,200.

He added that other AFP hospitals located in other parts of the country have a minimum of 556 combined bed capacity.

The Albay representative also said the 2020 National Budget for two military hospitals in Quezon City, the Veterans Memorial Medical Center and the V. Luna Medical Center, is about P1.8 billion each.

Lagman also pointed out that only two military hospitals have taken in COVID-19 positive patients.  These are the Veterans Memorial Medical Center with five patients and the V. Luna Medical Center with one patient.

As of today, the Philippines has 3,094 confirmed cases with 144 deaths.  (Jojo Mangahis)