Hospital open for dialogue
Caecent No-ot Magsumbol (The Freeman) - September 19, 2020 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines —  Chong Hua Hospital is ready to engage in a dialogue with the Garcia family after Governor Gwendolyn Garcia and Cebu Third District Rep. Pablo John Garcia raised questions on the death of their brothers, Barili Mayor Marlon Garcia and former Dumanjug mayor Nelson Garcia.

Marlon and Nelson died at the hospital after getting admitted for COVID-19. They have reportedly already tested negative from the disease before their passing.

“With the consent of the family (of the Garcias), we are ready to dialogue with them, and provide any answers that may help them in their search for closure,” reads the statement the hospital released Friday, September 18.

The hospital said that while the governor and congressman did not mention Chong Hua’s name during their press conference on Thursday, news reports on earlier dates have mentioned Chong Hua as the hospital where the Garcia brothers were confined.

“In the past few days, the honorable governor Gweldolyn Garcia and congressman Pablo John Garcia publicly announced that they would seek experts’ opinion on whether or not the medical interventions conducted on their brothers were appropriate. Although the good governor and congressman did not publicly name our institution, previous media reports have already identified Chong Hua Hospital as the facility where their brothers were confined,” the statement reads.

CHH said it understands what the Garcia family is going through. Nelson and Marlon died barely a week away from the each other.

CHH said it provides only “the best possible care for its patients.”

“The judgements of the medical team are backed by their extensive training and experience as doctors and medical practitioners, and based on verified data. Their actions are consistent with globally-accepted and clinically-established procedures applicable to the patients’ diagnoses,” the statement reads.

In particular, the hospital said, the two physicians who attended to the Garcia brothers are reputable and outstanding doctors, and are specialists in their fields.

CHH said it is a sad reality that even the most determined efforts to save lives sometimes ends up futile.

“Having served our community for over 100 years, the countless doctors and medical staff who worked in our hospital have undoubtedly felt frustration, discouragements, or even pain because of this certainty. This, however, should be a reason to stop trying, or to lose faith in the science and practice of medicine itself,” the statement reads.

CHH assures it continues to provide the best care to patients.

“Ultimately, no act stands as noble as preserving or saving lives, and this must be firmly grounded on facts and research. We assure the entire community that all our patients - past, present and future-were, are and will always be provided with the best care under our supervision.”


In the Thursday press conference, siblings Gwendolyn and Pablo John asked what exactly happened to their brothers who fought for their lives while in the hospital.

They also disclosed that Marlon’s hospital bills totaled P5.2 million while Nelson's bills totaled P3.2 million, excluding doctor's fees.

Gwendolyn said she tried to give her brothers a set of medication but the doctors did not allow them to take the medicines. The medication, which she did not specify, was the one being given by the Provincial Health Office to Cebu constituents with COVID-19 symptoms.

Marlon also reportedly wanted to leave the hospital after testing negative for COVID-19 and was even willing to sign a waiver after he tested negative for COVID-19.

Pablo John said they are raising questions because they could not understand why their brothers’ health deteriorated after they have recovered from the disease.

“We are raising questions. We are not making conclusions...We are asking because our family did not prohibit any expense. We did everything necessary,” Pablo John told said.

He also disclosed that he had contracted the virus but survived.

“Yes, they both tested positive for COVID-19 as did I around the same period. But they had recovered from COVID-19. Their doctors themselves, in the death certificates, would show that they recovered,” he said.


Meanwhile, the Cebu CFI Community Cooperative has suspended the accreditation of Chong Hua Hospital and disqualified two doctors accredited by the cooperative to certify medical and hospital procedures under CFI’s health care program.

“The hospital practices, medical protocols, and procedures of Cebu Chong Hua Hospital and some of its doctors are presently under review and investigation,” reads CFI’s Facebook post.

The cooperative named the two doctors CFI disqualified but The Freeman is withholding the names pending their comment.

The announcement gained mixed reactions from netizens – others are supporting the coop while others are supporting the doctors using the hashtags #NoToDoctorShaming, #healingwithpassion and #caringwithcompassion on social media.

In a separate post on September 18, CFI maintained that the move was a “prerogative of the COOP and was done as a precautionary measure to alleged abusive practices, protocols and procedures” complained by the relatives of their deceased members.

“We deed it prudent and in the exercise of sound, discretion to suspend the hospital’s accreditation and disqualify certain doctors pending resolution of an investigation on these allegations by appropriate medical experts and authorities,” its post reads.

The coop said the “disturbing allegations” are from “verified events” such as patients allegedly losing their lives under the same circumstances at the hospital wherein doctors adopt a “highly expensive but controversial medical procedures” for pre-COVID and post-COVID patients.

CFI said the investigation it is conducting is an opportunity for the hospital and the doctors to explain their side on the complaints the coop received from its members.

“We would like to clarify we are not passing any judgement yet on the hospital and these doctors as to their malfeasance or misfeasance. We hope and pray they can acquit themselves in an investigation that will surely be called in the near future,” CFI said.

The cooperative said, however, that it will not prevent its members who would still choose to go to Chong Hua and to the doctors for treatment but their medical bills under the health program of the cooperative will be scrutinized and will have to be shown to “another reputable doctor for re-evaluation and confirmation.”

CFI was founded in 1970 by the Garcia matriarch, the late Esperanza Garcia. At present, it is chaired by Atty. Winston Garcia, another brother of Gwendolyn and Pablo John.- Le Phyllis F. Antojado, JMO

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