"Those hospitals should have rendered first aid to the injured victim instead of turning him away."
We can’t thank the country’s health workers enough. They are at the forefront of the war on COVID-19.
Despite the ailing state of our healthcare system itself, particularly the public hospitals, healthcare workers have persevered against the continued surge of coronavirus infections, hoping that it would dissipate and that the curve would eventually flatten.
They have selflessly answered the call of their sworn duty and prioritized the life of fellow Filipinos with at least 38 of them making the ultimate sacrifice.
However, evidence has surfaced that some medical practitioners and entities have been exploiting the pandemic crisis, motivated by profits.
Some doctors and medical entities are even involved in corruption, particularly those involved in the massive irregularities at the Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (PhilHealth).
Another malpractice that we would like to bring to the attention of concerned authorities is the increasing number of incidents where patients were turned away by hospitals’ emergency room staff.
President Duterte had warned that this unlawful practice is not going to be tolerated, whether it involves a case of COVID-19 or otherwise.
This form of gross negligence by private hospitals has become a recurring incidence that has resulted in deaths.
A recent example of this occurred at a hospital in Cavite last week.
Florentino Caparas was driving a Toyota Hi-Ace van when he figured in a head-on collision with a Toyota Vios in Imus City two weeks ago.
He was on his way home and might have been sleepy while driving after watching over his daughter overnight. The daughter was confined for leukemia in a Manila hospital.
Witnesses said 59-year old Caparas collapsed as he tried to look into the damage of his van.
Caparas was taken by an ambulance to said hospital but was not allowed inside the emergency room and had to stay in the ambulance for two hours.
No medical staff even administered first-aid on Caparas who apparently suffered a life-threatening injury.
The victim’s relatives quoted the hospital staff as saying he might not be covered by insurance because he “looked drunk.”
Traffic investigator Ryan Joy Plaza belied the claim, saying Caparas suffered a concussion at the point of impact that later took its toll on the victim.
Caparas’ daughter Janine also said the victim could not have been drinking as he was under medication after surviving cancer.
She insisted they could have found a way to pay cash for the hospital bill, anyway, but the hospital staff still refused to attend to the victim.
They decided to take him to another hospital -- but at least four other hospitals also turned them away.
Caparas was finally admitted to the Chinese General Hospital but he later succumbed at the emergency room.
The victim’s grieving family believes he could still be alive if he was given the necessary treatment at the first hospital during the two hours that he was ignored and neglected.
The bottom line is that those hospitals should have rendered first aid to the injured victim and conducted an initial physical examination.
They clearly lacked professionalism and they even defied the spirit of the parable of the Good Samaritan which summons compassion to help others, especially strangers, in distress.