NBI files raps vs doctor, 2 nurses
NBI National Capital Region director Cesar Bacani said the Far Eastern University Nicanor Reyes Medical Foundation and Grace General Hospital refused to admit Katherine Bulatao, 26, who succumbed to blood loss due to birth complications on April 24.
PNA/File
NBI files raps vs doctor, 2 nurses
Marc Jayson Cayabyab (The Philippine Star) - September 21, 2020 - 12:00am

For refusing pregnant patient

MANILA, Philippines — The National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) has filed charges against a doctor and two nurses for allegedly refusing a pregnant patient who bled to death during the enhanced community quarantine in April.

NBI National Capital Region director Cesar Bacani said the Far Eastern University Nicanor Reyes Medical Foundation and Grace General Hospital refused to admit Katherine Bulatao, 26, who succumbed to blood loss due to birth complications on April 24.

NBI agent Dante Pua said a doctor at the FEU Hospital asked for  P30,000 down payment instead of admitting Bulatao, in violation of the Anti-Hospital Deposit Law.

In an interview with The STAR last April, Bulatao’s husband, Jan Christian, said the hospital also asked for P4,000 payment for the personal protective equipment to be worn by the staff while treating the patient.

Two nurses at Grace General Hospital in San Jose del Monte City, Bulacan refused the patient because there was no obstetrician-gynecologist on duty. They did not bother to make calls to look for an Ob-gyne, the NBI said.

The NBI filed charges against the doctor and nurses for violating the Anti-Hospital Deposit Law.

Under the law, hospitals are prohibited from refusing and demanding down payment from patients.

Medical practitioners face penalties of up to two years in prison and a fine of up to P300,000 if convicted of violating the law.

Medical officials face a heftier sentence of up to six years in prison and a fine of up to P1 million if found that it is the hospital’s policy to refuse patients.

No hospital officials were found liable because it was not their policy to turn away patients, according to the NBI.

Of the six hospitals that refused Bulatao due to lack of rooms and blood supply, the FEU Hospital and Grace General Hospital failed to justify turning the patient away.

Bulatao was declared dead on arrival at the San Jose del Monte General Hospital, the seventh medical facility and the only one that did not turn her away.

The NBI is looking into allegations of patient refusals from hospitals overwhelmed by COVID-19 cases during the coronavirus pandemic.

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