UP-PGH to continue treating non-COVID-19 patients even as a COVID-19 referral center

| Written by Celeste Ann Castillo Llaneta

UP-Philippine General Hospital, a unit under UP Manila. Source: UP PGH Child Protection Unit website
UP-Philippine General Hospital, a unit under UP Manila.
Source: UP PGH Child Protection Unit website


The University of the Philippines-Philippine General Hospital (UP-PGH) will continue serving non-COVID-19 patients even while operating as a COVID-19 referral center as designated by the Department of Health (DOH).

Uulitin ko po, hindi po exclusively COVID hospital ang UP-PGH. [I repeat, UP-PGH is not an exclusively COVID hospital],” Director Legaspi stressed during a DOH virtual press conference on March 23.

Addressing concerns about the Cancer Institute, Director Legaspi said that the Institute will remain open and will continue to provide patients with services, including radiotherapy. The Emergency Room, another example of an essential service of UP-PGH, will also remain open. COVID-19 patients will have a separate Emergency Room.

UP-PGH is the biggest modern government tertiary hospital and referral center in the Philippines, with 19 clinical departments and attached units that offer excellent facilities for comprehensive care for Filipinos seeking specialty and subspecialty care. The hospital currently has over 400 patients who are being treated for conditions other than the viral disease currently spreading across the globe.

In his recent message to the administration and staff of UP-PGH, UP President Danilo L. Concepcion also stated that UP-PGH agreed to become a COVID referral hospital on the condition that it “may continue to serve other patients with other ailments, and that the COVID Wing be exclusive and segregated from the rest of the hospital, with its own ER.”

President Concepcion also said in his message that UP and UP-PGH agreed to the DOH’s request for the hospital to become a COVID referral center “on the condition that the DOH will give us additional medical personnel for the Wing and that all its needs, e.g. PPEs (personal protective equipment), will be provided. If these conditions are not met, we shall restrict admission of cases to keep them at a safe and manageable level.”

Additionally, the UP president assured UP-PGH that the University will undertake measures to protect and care for all hospital personnel, such as:

  • securing enough PPEs and instituting proper Infectious Control Measures in the hospital;
  • ensuring a strict one-week tour of duty followed by a two-week period of quarantine;
  • arranging for free lodging and accommodation as well as transport for all UP-PGH healthcare workers during the crisis;
  • providing adequate nutrition and physical and psychosocial support, especially to frontliners and those in the clinical areas; and
  • ensuring full support from the DOH and the national government as well as partner private hospitals for the augmentation of UP-PGH’s manpower, technical, technological, and financial needs.

President Concepcion also emphasized that only UP-PGH personnel and staff who are fit will be allowed to volunteer and join the Ward.

UP-PGH has requested a week to prepare before beginning operations as a COVID-19 referral center. It is one of the three COVID-19 referral centers in the National Capital Region (NCR) designated by the DOH, the other two being the Dr. Jose M. Rodriguez Memorial Hospital in Caloocan City and the Lung Center of the Philippines in Quezon City.


*Featured image courtesy of UP PGH Child Protection Unit website