Yes, I had a hospital tantrum | Inquirer News

Yes, I had a hospital tantrum

/ 05:00 AM August 25, 2018

Yes, Kay Rivera, my fellow columnist in the Inquirer, I threw a tantrum at the Philippine General Hospital (PGH) emergency section because it was righteous indignation.

Did you see the face of that doctor who refused to take a look at the child-patient because he was insisting in enforcing the PGH no-video policy?


Which comes first, Dr. Rivera:  a hospital policy of no-video or the patient’s well-being?

Perhaps you forgot that PGH is a public hospital and the no-video policy is out of place; unless the doctors have something to hide when they’re going about their business.


If you heard what my staff, who took the video, said to the doctor, you would have understood.

She said, “Para po lang ito sa bata (This is for the child only),” meaning we wanted to record the condition of the child for future legal reference (underscoring for emphasis).

Doktora, you will probably reply that all triage doctors are jaded because of overwork. But does that make him not empathize with the patient before him?

I didn’t see a shred of empathy in the doctor’s face.

You said the patient was “visually stable.” But did you know she was vomiting before we reached the hospital, which means she should be given immediate medical care?

PGH is the nearest best trauma hospital I could think of, otherwise I could have taken her to the other hospitals near the accident scene.



In the past, I rushed a man, who fell from a three-story building, to the PGH emergency section sometime in the early 1980s. He was bleeding profusely.

When I courteously asked the doctor if the patient, who was a complete stranger to me, was going to be OK, he gestured with his hand like he was dismissing a dog, which angered me.

Agriculture Secretary Manny Piñol had a bitter experience in 1984 at the PGH emergency section when he figured in a road accident.

Profusely bleeding at the ER with everybody oblivious of him, Piñol saw a woman in white and asked her, “Miss, please attend to me, I’m bleeding.”

To which the woman in white replied: “Hoy, huwag mo akong tawaging miss, doktora ako (Hey, don’t call me miss, I’m a doctor).”

Is that the way doctors at PGH emergency section should treat their patients?


I’m sorry that I have had to make this reply to a young upstart from University of the Philippines College of Medicine who thinks she knows everything about journalism.

I’m just a phone call away, so Rivera could have first taken my side before blasting away.

I thought that bashing a columnist by another columnist in this paper had gone away after the Hubert Webb affair in the 1990s when two columnists of this paper severely criticized my stand on Webb.

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TAGS: column, News, opinion, PGH, Ramon Tulfo, tantrum
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