A Letter From Michael Hulland, Executive Director of Tebow CURE Hospital (CURE Philippines)
We are a Christian institution founded and based on principles of compassion for those in need. At this present time, I know we all feel for those suffering during the COVID-19 pandemic. As we have seen the number of COVID-19 cases increase across the Philippines and in Davao City, we have been prayerfully considering what our role and response should be at CURE Philippines.
As healthcare workers, we have a duty and a responsibility to do what we can to help in times of physical suffering. Therefore, we initiated discussions with the government hospital (Southern Philippines Medical Center / SPMC) handling the COVID-19 cases here in order to know how we can help and assist them during this crisis.
We expect to take some non-COVID-19 orthopaedic and plastics patients to help relieve space in government wards and emergency rooms. This is clearly a need, but this was not their most urgent need. The SPMC leadership explained that they are urgently in need of accommodations for many of their staff. Due to public transport restrictions, it is difficult to commute across the city, and many healthcare workers fear going home and unintentionally carrying the virus home to their families. Additionally, some landlords have evicted hospital staff from their lodgings due to coronavirus fears.
Since we have cancelled our normal elective procedures and our clinics, we have many free beds available. Therefore, we agreed with SPMC to temporarily house some SPMC employees on our second-floor ward. We have signed a Memorandum of Agreement to ensure they care for and look after our facility appropriately. We are providing this housing free of charge to SPMC and their assigned staff. We have made 23 beds in 6 shared rooms available to them. As of March 30, 2020, 15 doctors have arrived and been assigned places with us.
This gesture is a way of showing solidarity with our colleagues who are working under stressful and difficult situations to help save lives. We can demonstrate our support, respect, and encouragement to them by volunteering some of our space for their rest and recuperation. We may also be given opportunities to minister, counsel, and pray with them during what is a difficult time for those serving on the frontline. Our Spiritual Ministry team is excited about the creative ways they can interact and provide support to these staff, one of which is to supply Bibles and uplifting booklets at their bedside to read during this time of crisis. We can be a back-up and encouragement for those on the front lines of the COVID-19 response in Davao.
As a hospital, our specialisms are in orthopaedics and plastics, and so we may not be ideally suited to be on the front lines in this pandemic. But, we still have an important role to play. We can support, encourage, and offer the hope and peace of Jesus. Through these actions, we are able to serve our community during this time of need.
We greatly value the safety of our staff and will continue with our enhanced safety measures. We have set up separate entrances and isolated the second floor to minimise infection risks and will continue with our enhanced screening processes at both entrances.
Please pray with us as we continue to respond to the needs of those around us. Like the good Samaritan, when we see suffering we are called to respond with mercy. I am excited that even in this challenging and fast-changing environment we have an opportunity to continue to minister and show the heart of Jesus.
Michael Hulland | Tebow CURE hospital Executive Director