Over 100 unpaid medical interns assigned to the Philippine General Hospital (PGH), a government facility, have volunteered to go back on duty to help patients and health workers despite being ordered to go home.
In its statement today, the University of the Philippines (UP), which manages the PGH, said that the Association of Philippine Medical Colleges had ordered all medical interns working at various hospitals in the National Capital Region to be pulled off duty, but the ones assigned at PGH stayed behind.
Responding to the news, the UP said it “salutes the hard work and bayanihan (camaraderie) spirit among the frontliners, health workers, and medical professionals in the country’s battle against COVID-19.”
PGH, for its part, welcomed the interns’ help, echoing UP’s spirit in a statement of its own praising the “concerted effort to fight this unseen menace called COVID-19.” The PGH is furnishing the interns with lodging, food, and protective gear while on duty.
The public hospital, which was built in 1907, thanked not only the medical frontliners, but also “well-meaning individuals, regardless of affiliation or inclination” who have made donations to help “empower people in the frontline.”
“You did not disappoint us. Neither will we disappoint you. In the national push championed by the Department of Health, PGH is giving its full support, backed by 112 years of service, training, and research,” it added.
It also said that the government’s declaration of a state of national health emergency ensures that the hospital has enough funds, but it is still facing a shortage of disinfecting alcohol and masks, which is why it urged the public to provide donations in kind.
As of last night, eight people being monitored for coronavirus were being treated at the PGH, while 34 have been sent home.