Freeman Cebu News ( Leaderboard Top ), pagematch: , sectionmatch: 1

Osmeña unfazed: Please Go

CEBU, Philippines - Hurt and demoralized, a number of doctors detailed at the Pediatrics Ward of the Cebu City Medical Center are threatening to go on mass leave or to resign altogether in face of negative reports concerning their handling of dengue patients that resulted in a number of deaths.

But the planned mass action by doctors at the city-run hospital did not appear to bother Cebu City Mayor Tomas Osmena, who has been very critical of the CCMC.

In a text message to The Freeman, Osmena said: “My message to them is this…please go.”

Asked further if the city is prepared if the doctors make good their threat, Osmena said: “There is only one way to find out. I don’t make decisions based on fear. I will adjust.”

The doctors said the negative reports have placed the medical profession in a very bad light.

“We are so hurt. We cannot anymore concentrate on our jobs. We are the ones who are taken for granted. We may be doctors but we are not God. God knows we were not negligent, ” said Dr. Lee James Maratas, a junior consultant for Pediatrics at the city-run hospital.

Freeman ( Article MRec ), pagematch: 1, sectionmatch:

The negative reports prompted Osmena to order the other day an investigation on the performance of doctors at the CCMC following the deaths of three dengue patients.

Osmena has been very critical of the overall performance of the hospital and has threatened to either close the hospital or sell it to the private sector.

The latest deaths brought to 16 the number of fatalities due to dengue this year.

Reacting to the reports, and Osmena’s reaction to them, Maratas said it is unfair for city officials to say doctors have taken dengue cases for granted, saying they have never been remiss in their duties despite a hundred percent increase in the number of patients they attend to daily.

Maratas said the Pediatrics Department used to deal with an average of 1,500 different cases every month or 50 patients daily. But as of last month, the number has risen to 3,000 a month.

The Pediatrics Department only has nine resident doctors. One is assigned at the Emergency Room, another three at the Ward, one at the Intensive Care Unit and one at the Outpatient Department.

They work for 36 hours straight with only 12 hours of rest in between.

“Apart from being doctors, we go the extra mile, such as when we use money from our own pockets just to make sure patients can get medicine. Me and my husband have donated blood four times already. Of course we’re doing everything, we don’t want our patients to die,” said Dr. Mechelle Tejero, the attending physician to the second to the last recorded dengue death this month, a five-year-old girl from Tisa.

“We try as much as possible not to be absent, sacrifice time with family. We even bring sick children with us because we know we are more needed here at CCMC,” said another resident physician, Dr. Maribel Sayson.

The doctors said it would be better if City Hall officials sit down and observe them even for a day just to know the work load they bear.

They said dengue death statistics at private hospitals should also be looked into for comparison, they said.

Meanwhile, Osmena has agreed to a suggestion by councilor Gerardo Carillo to privatize the Laboratory Department of CCMC to improve its services.

Complaints have been mounting against the slow pace of releasing laboratory results, which many blame for failure to make proper diagnosis early, and thus delay the proper treatment of patients that sometimes result in death.

This is the reason why some of our doctors who need to have results on hand immediately are sometimes forced to ask patients to have their laboratory tests done by private laboratories.

Carillo admits that the hospital’s laboratory lacks personnel and that this could be the reason why results are often delayed.

Francisco Jimenez, 32, of Guadalupe said he went to the CCMC last Tuesday at 10 a.m. to donate fresh blood for a four-year-old neighbor who had dengue.

Laboratory personnel took blood samples from him to determine his compatibility with the patient and was advised to return at 2 p.m. for the results.

“Four hours is a very long time. Once it was determined that I was compatible, it took another two hours before blood was taken from me,” he said.

Cresencia Cuizon, grandmother of the four-year-old child who eventually died, said it took another three hours for the blood to be transfused to the patient.

“By that time, the child was already in the throes of death and eventually failed to be saved,” she said.

Under the Carillo proposal, private laboratories can just bill the city for payment.

Osmena has ordered that dengue patients should be free from all charges. - /JST (THE FREEMAN)

Freeman ( Article MRec ), pagematch: 1, sectionmatch:
  • Follow Us: