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Erap scolds doctor for turning patient away

Jose Rodel Clapano (The Philippine Star) - December 17, 2015 - 9:00am

MANILA, Philippines – Manila Mayor Joseph Estada chewed out a doctor at the Ospital ng Maynila Medical Center (OMMC) yesterday for reportedly telling a woman and her six-year-old daughter, who was ill with dengue, to seek help at another hospital.

He said this indifference to patients, especially those in emergency situations, is a direct violation – and may even be considered an act of sabotage – of his directive to all officials and personnel of all city-run hospitals to always provide prompt, complete services to patients for free.

Estrada learned of the incident in his “Ugnayan sa Mamamayan” public forum at Barangay 775 in Manila’s District 5.

During the forum, Gina Lumtong, 31, a housewife married to a deliveryman, told the mayor of her experience when she sought help at the OMMC last month.

Lumtong said her daughter, Nicole, was suffering from high fever and frequent vomiting and was bleeding from her nose.

She said she was informed that they could get free services from the OMMC but was surprised and disappointed when she was told by the doctor to first get some laboratory tests done at the Philippine General Hospital (PGH).

The tests, Lumtong said, would cost some P2,000, but she only had about P120 then, so she decided to transfer her daughter to another hospital that would treat her daughter for free.

Estrada told the woman to accompany him to OMMC. At the hospital, he scolded the doctor.

“I’m doing everything for our hospitals, but then this is what you are doing with the patients… It was an emergency… And you referred them to other hospitals. You referred them to the PGH when there are other city government-owned hospitals where medical services are free,” he told the doctor.

ACIRC DAUGHTER DOCTOR GINA LUMTONG LUMTONG MAMAMAYAN MANILA MAYOR JOSEPH ESTADA MAYNILA MEDICAL CENTER OSPITAL PHILIPPINE GENERAL HOSPITAL UGNAYAN
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