The Department of Health (DOH) is coordinating with local governments to speed up the installation of facilities for patients suspected of having SARS in 10 regional hospitals around the nation.
Since May 20, the two hospitals assigned to become hospitals for SARS patients in Taipei -- Sanchung Hospital and Sungshan Hospital -- have made available facilities for 92 and 102 SARS patients respectively.
The Chishan Hospital in Kaohsiung County announced yesterday that 49 negative pressure rooms in the hospital will be ready for SARS patients by June 5.
In central Taiwan, the Taichung Military Hospital entrusted to handle SARS cases will begin to accept suspected SARS patients in two weeks when its 44 negative pressure rooms are ready.
The 10 hospitals assigned to accommodate suspected SARS patients are the Taipei Municipal Hoping Hospital and the Sungshan Military Hospital in Taipei City, Sanchung Hospital in Taipei County, the Taichung Military Hospital and Chunghsing Hospital in central Taiwan, the Tainan Military Hospital, Pingtung Military Hospital and Chishan Hospital in southern Taiwan, and the Hualien Military Hospital and Taitung Hospital in eastern Taiwan.
These hospitals will only handle suspected SARS cases, while the more critical probable SARS patients will be treated by research hospitals.
Since many of the hospitals do not have doctors specializing in infectious diseases or the respiratory system, the medical authorities are arranging special training programs for doctors and nurses.
Meanwhile, in Kaohsiung City, the city government has coordinated with the military to set up a suspected SARS-patient screening unit at a barracks for marines at Tsoying. The 41 negative pressure rooms, to be ready today, will accommodate patients transferred from nearby hospitals, although critical SARS patients will not be accepted.
Serving as a mid-way house for suspected SARS patients, the screening unit will only treat suspected SARS patients. Should a patient's situation deteriorate, the unit will transfer the patient to a research hospital.