A total of 510 doctors, nurses and paramedics on government payroll are on duty and purportedly ready to respond to any medical emergency that may arise in the week the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit is held in Manila.
Health Secretary Janet Garin, in a statement on Monday, said the Department of Health (DOH)–being the lead agency of the APEC Sub-Task Group on Medical Emergency–“will also oversee the welfare of the public for the whole week” starting Monday.
Monday came but not a single trained medical personnel was around when a pregnant woman who was caught in heavy traffic because of road closures was forced to give birth on the street around 11:45 a.m.
A report posted on the social media aggregator site Coconuts Manila said the woman who was in labor was being rushed by her husband to a hospital when they got caught in a traffic jam near the City of Dreams casino-hotel complex.
“The mother put all her energy in delivering the baby and passed out right after. The husband he was in total shock,” Angel Ramos Canoy, who witnessed the couple’s ordeal, said.
Two police officers who were at the scene came to their aid.
“The policeman helped the mother lie down, the policewoman helped her give birth to a baby boy,” Canoy said.
Canoy, together with another passerby tried to give the parents privacy and protection by covering them with umbrellas.
“They also begged the officers to get an ambulance, but they were just as helpless because of the traffic,” the report said.
In her Facebook account, Canoy said she did hear the newborn cry even after three minutes after birth.
“All we can do now is PRAY. Hoping they will be fine. SOON,” she wrote.
The Health department said medical teams will be deployed all over Metro Manila.
A total of 103 medical teams from DOH will be on standby at the Philippine International Convention Center, the Mall of Asia, airports and other areas where the delegates and participants will convene.
The City of Dreams along President Macapagal Boulevard is within the reclamation area that was cordoned off for the APEC summit.
“We are not only looking after the health of our APEC delegates. Everyone’s health is our primary concern. Let us help one another to make this event a success,” Garin said.