MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte on Thursday night ordered the Department of Health (DOH) to investigate nine hospitals allegedly refusing the admission of patients due to supposed overcrowding caused by the influx of COVID-19 patients.
In his taped speech, Duterte said it is “unreasonable” for hospitals to turn down patients as the country is in a public health emergency due to the COVID-19 outbreak.
“There are nine hospitals who refuse to accept patients and therefore we are calling—not after the COVID-19 crisis— but I’ll be asking today the Department of Health to start the investigation,” Duterte said.
“I’m sorry but there are rules to follow. And you begin to ‘ef’ the rules ayan ang…magkakaproblema tayo [we’ll going to have problems],” he added.
Duterte, however, did not disclose the names of the hospitals he was referring to.
The President claimed that hospitals should not choose their patients and must accomodate them whatever disease they have contracted.
“Ospital kayo [You are hospitals], you are the sanctuary of the sick. You do not choose the ailment of the patients you are accepting. It’s simply not within your power morally,” he said.
Duterte earlier warned hospitals turning down patients of facing charges after receiving reports that a patient in Cabanatuan City died after six hospitals refused to take him in.
The DOH has issued an order asking hospitals to continue to provide essential health care services in view of the COVID-19 crisis.
Among the essential services hospitals should continue to provide according to Department Circular 2020-0167 issued March 23 are the following:
- Antenatal and postpartum care services including Basic Emergency Obstetric and Newborn Care
- Essential Intrapartum and Newborn Care, especially the promotion of exclusive breastfeeding
- Immunization for children 0-12 months
- Management of malnutrition and micronutrient supplementation
- Screening, testing, and treatment of tuberculosis and HIV
Edited by JPV
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