What used to be the COVID-19 Opcen hotline has been converted into a 24/7 disaster coordination hotline between the City Health Office (CHO) and its district offices.

“From COVID Opcen now we are handling health emergency management system sa disaster na siya (From COVID-Opcen, we are now handling health emergency management system for disasters),” CHO Disaster Risk Reduction and Management for Health (DRRMH) Manager Shane Marco said in an interview with the City Information Office on Wednesday.

He said that about 18 call takers have undergone orientation in disaster, and know how to handle calls from district doctors, nurses, disease surveillance officers, disaster focal persons, or people from the CHO districts and forward them to the concerned people or division.

“[They handle] coordination and verification on the ground, halimbawa naa’y outbreak or clustering of diseases, muagi gyud na sa ilaha, and then kaning mga calamities
and disasters nato muagi sa ilaha ang coordination. Halimbawa si Buhangin nanginahanglan siya og sakyanan muagi sa Opcen, siya ang mu-coordinate sa division kung kinsa
ang naga handle sa medicine and sa sakyanan (They handle coordination and verification on the ground, for example, there is an outbreak or clustering of cases, it will pass through them, and then in cases of calamities or disasters they will handle the coordination. For example, Buhangin district needs vehicles, it has to reach out to Opcen and the latter will coordinate with the specific division that handles the medicine and vehicles),” Marco said.

He added that the Opcen is a huge help in the coordination of health services in line with the recent flooding and flashflood incidents.

“Dako siya og tabang kay naa siya’y program nga ma-organize niya ang tanan nga lihok, like sa planned events or even sa disaster. (It has a program to organize synchronized activities, such as planned events or even during disasters),” Marco said, adding that with the hotline, the CHO can coordinate with affected districts.

The hotline is open for district coordination and non-emergency patient transport 24/7 from Monday to Sunday.

Apart from the advantage that the hotline provides to the CHO, the public can also call it for concerns about the transport of their non-emergency patients.

“For public use, they can call the City Health Office Opcen Hotline if naa sila’y concern sa transportation sa ambulances for non-emergency like mga bed ridden nga mga pasyente i-uli sa balay nga dili pwede ilingkod sa taxi, pwede nato i-cater diha, as long as dili siya emergency. Sa pagkakaron ang services nga ginahatag nato sila ilaha is more on transportation services because we only have two ambulances per shift. (For public use, they can call the City Health Office OpCen hotline if they have concerns about transportation for non-emergency like bed-ridden patients who are going home and cannot sit in taxis, we can cater to them, as long as it is not an emergency. As of now, the service we can give them is transportation service because we only have two ambulances per shift),” Marco said.

Marco, in a separate interview, said that the CHO intends to use the hotline in the future as a bridge to every health program of the city, however, for now, they are making directories for all the divisions and programs and conducting staff orientation.

The CHO Open Hotlines Nos. are 0906-2529192, 0945-7682819 for Globe; 0961-5262861 for Smart; and 0939-3405675 for Smart and Viber. CIO