Cebu News

Explain hospital controversy, PB asks PHO chief

Kristine B. Quintas - The Freeman

CEBU, Philippines - The Cebu Provincial Board has summoned the chief of the Provincial Health Office to shed light on the controversy involving the management of the Minglanilla District Hospital.

The management last month allegedly refused to ferry a hit-and-run patient on the hospital-owned ambulance that allegedly led to the latter’s death.

Board Member Bacaltos has invited PHO Chief Dr. Rene Catan to appear before the Provincial Board on Monday, saying the unfortunate incident merits a thorough inquiry.

“Allegedly, the said request was rejected by the hospital personnel arguing that per Capitol policy, the ambulance can only be used for hospital-to-hospital purposes and not for rescue operations,” Bacaltos said.

A day after the May 24 incident, Governor Hilario Davide III had placed Dr. Bella Villagana, chief medical officer of the Minglanilla District Hospital, under preventive suspension while Catan’s office investigates on the incident.

The provincial government will take appropriate action, depending on the result of the investigation.

Board Member Christopher Baricuatro, chairman of the PB Committee on Public Health, said they found out that Villagana was the one who issued the memorandum.

The memo is still subject to PHO’s approval, he said.

However, Baricuatro said the memo did not even specify the use of ambulance.

“It caused confusion among the hospital personnel. Ang standing order ni Catan is LGU-owned ambulance ang gamiton but if unavailable, then ang hospital. Unfortunately, gipa-implement gyod sa doctor ang iyang order,” he said.

A certain Marvey Bastida Cano posted on his Facebook account what he said happened on May 24.

Cano wrote that he found an unidentified man lying on the ground near Bethany Christian School in Barangay Tunghaan, Minglanilla at around 1:10 a.m. that day. The man was bathed in his own blood, barely breathing but apparently still alive.

He said he went to the police station to ask for help, while his friends went to the district hospital.

But the hospital nurse reportedly did not grant their request to use the ambulance because “the brand-new ambulance is only for patient transfers and not for rescue operations.”

Cano said he personally went to the hospital for the second time to seek help. However, he said a male nurse also refused to help them.

The victim was only brought to the hospital in Minglanilla by a police patrol car at 2 a.m. or about an hour after Cano and his companions found the victim. However, by the time the patient arrived in the hospital, he was already dead.

The governor belied the claims of the management that Capitol issued a memorandum prohibiting the use of government-owned ambulance.

The FREEMAN has been repeatedly trying to reach the district hospital’s management to get its side of the story but no one has been available to issue a statement. (FREEMAN)

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