Gov't hospital struggling with water lack
Patients who are pregnant will have to bring water as a shortage has forced Rizal Medical Center to reduce even the number of patients.
"We are experiencing shortage of water," Rizal Medical Center chief Relito Saquilayan said in an interview with The Daily Manila Shimbun on Thursday.
Saquilayan said they can accommodate around 30 (child) deliveries daily but due to the problem, they can only accept half of that.
"Yes because there is really no (water) especially on the OB ( obstetrics-gynecology). They use it for taking baths and for drinking. We also supply water but it's not enough," he explained.
"That's why they are bringing their own ( supply of water) to supplement what we have," he added.
Rizal Medical Center, which is located at Kapitolyo, Pasig, is taking care of around 400 inpatients.
Saquilayan said they started to experience water shortage on the evening of March 7 but the hospital only received advice the next day.
"We were not able to prepare because it's unexpected," he said.
The Rizal Medical Center is seeking for understanding from patients.
"We are limiting patients now. We stop but if we have water then we accept. It depends on the availability of the water," said Saquilayan.
He said this is the hospital's worse case scenario '' because we can't close.'' . ''This is the last place where the sick people go," he said.
He said patients understand the situation as the whole area is also suffering water loss.
''Because patients are aware that the hospital is suffering from it, they defer themselves from going to RMC,'' he said,
According to Saquilayan, their operations are suffering due to lack of water.
"We cannot afford to operate without water. This is quite dangerous for our patients," said Saquilayan
"Our patients here have low immune system. That's why it's easy for them to get an infection. So if there's no water, you cannot wash hands, it's dirty." he said.
He said they are also having a hard doing dialysis.
The Rizal Medical Center chief said they receive water supply from the Manila Water and Red Cross. The local government unit and the Bureau of Fire Protection are also giving them water from time to time.
He said Health Secretary Francisco Duque assured them that the hospital will be prioritized by Manila Water.
Saquilayan said they are also taking measures to conserve their water.
"We place cardboards, saying conserve water in the comfort room. Our staff were told to stop watering plants for now," he said.
He added they are giving water to their wards from their reserve tank.
"We will fill up our drums for one hour, then we'll close it. If we let that open, it will all be consumed, so our general operations will be more affected," he said.
Some patients said though it's additional cost for them, they understand the situation.
"It's for our own good," said one.
"We understand them as we also experienced the same (situation)," said her companion.
Patients and their relatives were seen are bringing gallons of water inside the hospital.
Patients at the OB room also have bottles and gallons of water which they use for their own consumption.
Saquilayan asked for the public's understanding as the hospital is facing a very difficult condition.
"We hope that they understand that the hospital is now in a very difficult condition especially if the supply of water is very, very low," he said.
"We explained to them the dangers that can happen like they can have infection because of lack of water," he added.
Saquilayan hopes that rain will start to pour by May. Ella Dionisio/DMS