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Taipei City Hospital workers plead for help amid COVID onslaught

Frontline workers say healthcare system on verge of 'collapse'

Hospital workers in Taipei (Facebook, Ko Wen-je)

Hospital workers in Taipei (Facebook, Ko Wen-je)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Workers at the Taipei City Hospital (TCH) are pleading for help as the hospital’s capacity is stretched to the limit by the soaring number of COVID-19 cases.

Taipei City Hospital with its nine medical institutions has been the main force tackling the fresh outbreak centered on Taipei and New Taipei. Its labor union clamored for assistance Tuesday (May 25) in a Facebook post revealing that manpower and resources have been stretched so thin a “collapse” could be imminent.

Challenges facing the institution include emergency rooms and dedicated COVID wards being overwhelmed with patients but forced to take in more. Slow contact tracing puts the staff in danger, with one nurse not being informed that her patient had tested positive until seven days later.

A lack of transparency in how disease control information is being disclosed is to blame for multiple cluster infections at TCH campuses, the labor union suggested. In addition, the union said the ER departments need fixed manpower rather than undertrained backup personnel, who have failed to provide effective support on the COVID battleground.

The union is desperately calling for a coordinated approach from both municipal and central governments and for resource allocation to be fast-tracked to relieve the burden of those on the front line.

Taipei and New Taipei have recorded 1,608 and 2,024 local cases, respectively, of the nation’s 4,222 total since the beginning of the year. To optimize its limited medical facilities, Taipei has put in place a number of COVID hotels to accommodate patients with minor or no symptoms.

Taipei Mayo Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) has called for donations to the city’s COVID-19 relief fund as the new wave of cases is putting a strain on its medical system.

Updated : 2021-06-25 06:59 GMT+08:00