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Hospital resilience in the aftermath of Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines

Charlie Labarda (School of Health Sciences, University of the Philippines Manila, Manila, Philippines)
Meredith Del Pilar Labarda (School of Health Sciences, University of the Philippines Manila, Manila, Philippines)
Exaltacion Ellevera Lamberte (Social Development Research Center, De la Salle University, Manila, Phillipines)

Disaster Prevention and Management

ISSN: 0965-3562

Article publication date: 7 August 2017

Abstract

Purpose

Resilient health facilities, particularly hospitals, are critical for a responsive local health system in post-disaster settings. The purpose of this paper is to look at the experiences of two hospitals (public and private) in Tacloban City, Philippines in the aftermath of a super typhoon and their respective delivery of health services in such setting.

Design/methodology/approach

It described the impact of Typhoon Haiyan on health services delivery capacity and the factors instrumental in the resilience of the case hospitals. Lessons learned from the hospitals’ experiences, both at the level of the hospital staff and the institution, were also drawn. Disaster preparedness of case hospitals were assessed along several domains of resilience. Key informant interviews among stakeholders were conducted with key themes on disaster resilience extracted.

Findings

Disaster preparedness scores for case hospitals were different from each other and were reflected in their experiences of health services delivery in the aftermath of the disaster.

Research limitations/implications

This study on hospital resilience of two case hospitals, in the aftermath of Typhoon Haiyan, is exploratory in nature. The retrospective design of the study made it prone to recall bias. Further, the use of self-report measures for hospital resilience needs to be validated by more objective measures. The lack of baseline pre-disaster resilience indicators and the unpredictability of disasters could perhaps be addressed by a longitudinal study on hospital resilience in disasters in the future.

Originality/value

This study revealed several key findings. Some of the themes that emerged were: public health in disaster is the responsibility of both public and private hospitals; need for flexibility in disaster preparedness and planning, disaster resilience is an emergent process not a static construct, chaos results from zeal without coordination, and the need for integration of disaster preparedness in daily processes and structures of hospital facilities.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

The authors would like to thank the Department of Health (DOH) Regional Field Office 8 for the help in gathering data for this study. Funding for this study was provided by the Philippine Council for Health Research and Development (PCHRD) of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST).

Citation

Labarda, C., Labarda, M.D.P. and Lamberte, E.E. (2017), "Hospital resilience in the aftermath of Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines", Disaster Prevention and Management, Vol. 26 No. 4, pp. 424-436. https://doi.org/10.1108/DPM-02-2017-0025

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2017, Emerald Publishing Limited