MANILA, Philippines – The Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) inaugurated 150 temporary hospital beds to ensure continued provision of basic health care services for 28,000 detainees in Muntinlupa City’s New Bilibid Prison (NBP).
“We remain committed to support the BuCor to guarantee the detainees’ right to adequate health care. The temporary hospital will help improve the quality of medical care for detainees and provide a good working environment for NBP’s health workers,” said Boris Michel, head of the ICRC’s delegation in the Philippines, in a statement on Monday, May 2.
The temporary facility has an emergency room, pharmacy, intensive care unit, dental clinic and psychiatric ward. It was designed and built by the BuCor and ICRC that can provide minor surgical services to patients. The new facility also has tuberculosis (TB) laboratory serving as an isolation and treatment facility for patients who have tested positive for TB. Some of the medical equipment inside the hospital have been donated by the ICRC.
ICRC said that the temporary hospital will also serve as a referral facility for the infirmaries in the minimum and medium security compounds. Before this, detainees were treated inside medical tents.
“We commend the ICRC team in the country for its very professional and collaborative approach in the performance of its mission as an impartial, neutral and independent humanitarian organization. Maraming salamat at mabuhay po kayo sa ICRC!” said Assistant Secretary Gabriel P. Chaclag, BuCor’s Deputy Director General for Administration.
During the early days of the pandemic in 2020, overly congested faced a difficult problem managing coronavirus cases. A Rappler exclusive revealed that at least 60 had died a month in NBP since the coronavirus lockdown, some from unknown causes. They were not tested for the coronavirus. (READ: In Bilibid, dozens die of unclear causes without being tested for coronavirus) – Bonz Magsambol/Rappler.com