Senator Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go called on concerned government agencies to conduct an immediate investigation on the hospitals that reportedly refused to administer emergency treatment to patients.
Go made the call after he repeatedly appealed to hospitals not to deny emergency medical treatment to any patient amid the ongoing coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) outbreak.
“Ilang beses na akong umapela sa mga ospital na huwag itaboy ang mga pasyente, lalong lalo na ang mga nangangailangan ng emergency care (I have repeatedly appealed to the hospitals not to reject patients, particularly those who need emergency care),” the chair of the Senate committee on health and demography said in a news release issued on Tuesday.
Go said accepting patients into hospitals “is of paramount importance” now that the country is facing a public health emergency due to Covid-19.
He echoed President Rodrigo Duterte’s remarks that hospitals are the sanctuary of the sick and that they should not choose the ailment of the patient they are accepting.
The senator from Davao City also said he strongly supports Duterte’s stand to penalize hospitals that cannot attend to patients who need immediate medical attention.
“Alam ko na nahihirapan tayong lahat dahil sa health crisis dulot ng Covid-19. Kulang tayo sa kagamitan sa ospital, tulad ng PPEs. Lampas sa kapasidad ang karamihan sa mga pasilidad pero hindi ito dahilan upang hindi tanggapin ang mga nangangailangan ng agarang tulong medical (All of us are facing difficulties because of the health crisis brought by Covid-19. Our hospitals do not have enough equipment, like personal protective equipment. Our facilities are overloaded but these are not reasons to reject those who need immediate medical help),” he said.
A mother died after giving birth in Caloocan City on April 24 after six hospitals reportedly refused to admit her, citing full capacity while another facility allegedly asked for a deposit.
Earlier, at least three patients also died after reportedly being refused treatment by various hospitals.
Go said Republic Act 10932 or the “Anti-Hospital Deposit Law” declares it unlawful for a hospital or clinic to refuse patients and administer medical treatment and support.
He added that the law states that transfer to another hospital or facility could only be done after necessary emergency treatment has been administered to the patient and that the patient is already in a stable condition.
“May batas tayo na naglalatag kung ano ang dapat gawin ng mga ospital. Mandato ninyo na sagipin ang buhay ng bawat taong hihingi sa inyo ng tulong (We have a law providing guidelines to the hospitals. You are mandated to save the life of anyone asking for help),” Go said.
According to the law, officials of these hospital will be slapped with six years of imprisonment and a fine ranging from PHP500,000 to PHP1 million if the refusal to accept patients is based on the hospital policy.
Go said his panel would investigate the hospitals that refused to administer emergency treatment to critically ill patients.
“Kailangan natin mabigyan ng hustisya ang mga namatayan (We need to give justice to those who lost their loved ones),” he said, adding that he has asked the National Bureau of Investigation and the Department of Health to conduct an investigation.
Photo Source: Facebook/BongGoPage