PGH to close emergency room starting June 1

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, May 23) — The Philippine General Hospital (PGH) is set to close its emergency room (ER) beginning June 1 to make way for renovations, its spokesperson said Wednesday.

"Luma na 'yung ER [The ER is old], dilapidated. We want to create a more modern emergency room, increase the capacity, provide more isolation rooms, four operating rooms, and a bigger holding area," PGH Spokesperson Dr. Jonas del Rosario said.

The renovation will take 10 months, as part of the infrastructure development of the PGH.

Del Rosario explained that adult and young patients in the ER will be transferred to Ward 14-A of the hospital. Meanwhile, emergency cases in the OB admitting section under the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology -- which include pregnancies -- will be transferred to Ward 15.

Each makeshift ER has a 25-bed capacity.

The hospital, which is state-owned and operated by the University of the Philippines, has a 56-bed ER. Del Rosario said they accept around 200 to 300 emergency cases per day.

The PGH spokesperson then advised the public not to head to PGH's emergency room as much as possible, but said the hospital would not refuse patients with emergency needs. He added with the high volume of patients coming in, some may be turned away depending on the severity of the case.

"Kung hindi naman emergency talaga na huwag na sa PGH pumunta [If it's not really an emergency, don't head to PGH anymore]. So that we can allow or give a chance to those patients who really have life-threatening conditions," del Rosario said.

The emergency cases include trauma, heart attack, strokes, and those who will need surgical procedures such as appendicitis or intestinal obstructions.

"Syempre kung andyan 'yung pasyente sa harap namin, at pumunta sa PGH [Of course if the patient is presented to us in PGH] , we will attend to them and stabilize them in the ER," he explained.

The patient, once stabilized, may be considered for transfer to nearby hospitals.

Del Rosario added that those patients from the province who will be transferred to the PGH must coordinate with the hospital prior to the transfer.