Cebu News

Doc denies delaying patient transfer

Kristine B. Quintas - The Freeman

CEBU, Philippines - A government doctor has belied allegations it was because of her that the transfer of a 15-year-old patient to a hospital in Cebu City from Pinamungajan town was delayed. 

Dr. Rene Catan, chief of the Provincial Health Office (PHO), said the doctor has responded to the complaint of the patient’s father through a letter.

“She vehemently denied any wrongdoing, as far as the use of the ambulance,” Catan told The FREEMAN yesterday.

Catan refused to furnish the media a copy of the doctor’s letter pending a hearing with PHO’s grievance committee today. The doctor, the complainant, the ambulance driver, and other concerned parties are expected to attend the hearing.

The FREEMAN is withholding the name of the doctor pending official statement. Repeated calls yesterday were left unanswered.

The PHO has opened an investigation into the complaint filed by Tomas Laraño.

 Laraño, in a letter to Governor Hilario Davide III, claimed it took him a long time to admit his son, John Michael, 15, who figured in a motorcycle accident on August 24, at the  Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center in Cebu City because the doctor  deliberately held the referral.

 Laraño said he and his son were already inside the ambulance with the doctor, expecting that she would assist them in going to the city. However, the doctor only hitched a ride because she allegedly did not have money to pay for her fare.

 The doctor reportedly asked to be taken to her house in Cebu City using the ambulance. On their way to the city, the doctor reportedly stopped at a mall in Toledo City to buy something with them waiting inside the ambulance at the parking area.

 John Michael was brought to the Pinamungajan District Hospital at 6:40 a.m. on August 24 but was admitted at VSMMC only after eight hours. The next day, he succumbed to a blood clot in the head or internal hemorrhage.

 Laraño said his child’s death might have been prevented if he had been brought immediately to the hospital in the city.

Despite the ongoing investigation, Catan said the doctor will remain working at the district hospital because the facility lacks personnel.

 “Karon wa paman ta makahatag og recommendation because ongoing pa ang investigation and nagkinahanglan man ta og tawo sa Pinamungajan. So adto lang usa siya. Pa-duty-hon lang sa nato siya,” he said. (FREEMAN)

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