Maternity house official statement Staff did not tape the baby
Jean Marvette A. Demecillo (The Freeman) - May 21, 2014 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines - The parents of the child whose mouth was allegedly taped shut by a nursery staff of the Cebu Puericulture Center and Maternity House, Inc. were dejected after learning that the hospital has come up with an initial response after more than a week of investigation and denied any of their personnel taped the baby.

“We’re actually in dismay because this is not what we expected. We gave them a week, they asked for a week to investigate the issue. We gave them that and this is just what they came up with? Very disappointing,” said Jasmine Badocdoc, the mother of the child.

The letter from the maternity lawyer denied the taping incident.

“We state for the record that the nurses and midwife had nothing to do with the ‘taping’ of the mouth,” read the letter signed by lawyer Cornelio Mercado.

Badocdoc said her family, maternity house officials, some government agencies and their legal counsels will meet today regarding the incident.

Mercado, as stated in the letter, also questioned the substantiality of the photo posted by the baby’s father, Ryan Noval, in his Facebook account.

“We attach a blow up photograph as posted in the social webpage. Note: there is no pacifier; a long wide tape was used that dangerously joined both lips of the infant. We have asked resource persons on methods, angles, style, etc on recording using the e-gadget, and the imminent author is the person who has the device and posted the result,” Mercado’s letter further read.

Mercado said the management received information that photos of other infants in the nursery were also recorded without permission.

Badocdoc said they expected the denial of the taping incident and that the maternity house would question the validity of the photos.

She said they are decided on filing the case, but could not yet say who in particular they will sue.

“So, for now, yun’ nalang muna kasi we’re instructed by our legal counsels to refrain from giving comments since investigation is ongoing,” she said.

DOH probe

Dr. Philip Yray Jr. of the Department of Health-7 regulation and licensing enforcement division, who is also a member of the fact-finding team, said the maternity house has not violated its policy and regulations in the neonatal intensive care unit.

“No problem on personnel and policy. Actually, sa pag-adto namo intact ilang policies,” he said.

Yray, who is a dentist, said for a specialty hospital such as the maternity house, with a 75-bed capacity, the center needs 24 nurses since the standard ratio is 1 nurse to 12 beds.

“Based sa application form for renewal of license to operate for 2014 na ilang gi-submit, there are 36 permanent nurses and five relievers, wala’y problema,” he said.

“For every additional 50 beds, two additional physicians. Daghan sila’g doctor and consultants,” he added.

He said the maternity house clarified that pacifiers are prohibited in the establishment since they promote breastfeeding, he added pacifiers can also cause open bites and protrusion of the upper teeth.      

Contrary to the information relayed by Yray saying that three incident reports were handed by the maternity house to the DOH yesterday, DOH-7 Regional Director Jaime Bernadas said the maternity house has given only an initial response.

“We need the institutional report with the chronological report of the events prior to the incident,” he said.

However, when asked if the initial response from the maternity would be useful, Bernadas said, they could start from there.

“In case ang allegation nila dili mag tugma, the issue becomes a legal problem,” he said, adding that data and relevant information regarding the incident will be forwarded to the DOH central office.

“Kung dunay legal issue, it is now beyond DOH. Ang amo, ang important is the safety of the patient, the protocols in the hospital and the standard operating procedures that are being submitted and reviewed during quality assurance visits, patient safety visits, licensure monitoring and renewals,” he said.

Bernadas said there is no urgency for any information from the maternity house for him since the child was already discharged and is in good condition.

He said DOH fact finding team will compare the allegations of the parents and the maternity house. The task force Regional Sub Committee for the Welfare of Children and the fact-finding team will have a meeting today afternoon for the consolidation and to further investigate the case.

Under the task force are the DOH, Commission on Human Rights, Department of Social Welfare and Development, Philippine National Police, Regional Prosecutor’s Office, and Cebu City Hall’s Department on Social Welfare and Services formed the task force. Also, National Bureau of Investigation and National Telecommunications Commission were invited in the task force to use their specialties in investigating the incident.

It was earlier reported that Mercado, the lawyer of the maternity house, accepted the formation of task force group to investigate the incident. — with Sherwin Oro Gabrinez, UP Masscom intern/BRP (FREEMAN)

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