Bill filed penalizing non-disclosure of medical info to health attendants
MANILA, Philippines — A party-list lawmaker has filed a bill giving stiff penalty to those who would deliberately withhold vital information that may put at risk health professionals who would look after them.
The still unnumbered House bill filed by Ang Probinsyano party-list Rep. Alfred delos Santos is timely considering the public health emergency brought by the coronavirus disease or COVID-19 outbreak, which is now considered a global pandemic by the World Health Organization.
“Our health professionals deserve not only our salute, but also our protection,” delos Santos said in a statement Tuesday.
His proposal seeks to penalize individuals who did not divulge vital information for treatment of a disease that may be subject of a public health emergency or outbreak or pandemic, with a fine up to P500,000, plus additional community service equivalent to 150 hours.
The bill would further provide a stiffer penalty of P1 million and up to 200 hours of community service if the person deliberately withheld important information for a disease that resulted in a transmission to attending health workers or other patients within the same facility where the culprit is seeking treatment.
At the same time, delos Santos appealed to the public to disclose to hospitals their travel and medical history, especially if they are suspected of 2019 coronavirus disease (COVID-19) infection.
This is to protect health workers from contracting the deadly disease and help stop its spread, he said.
Delos Santos said he received reports that some persons under investigation (PUIs), who have visited countries with known COVID-19 cases, deliberately did not disclose vital information that would have helped stop the transmission of the virus to medical practitioners.
“Sa panahong ito kailangan natin ang inyong buong kooperasyon upang hindi mahawa ang kapwa pasyente at ang ating mga frontline health workers,” Delos Santos said.
(At this time, we need the public’s full cooperation so that frontline health workers and patients won’t infect each other.)
“Ibigay sana nila ang lahat ng mahahalagang impormasyon—medical history, travel history o mga sintomas—upang maayos na matugunan ang kanilang karamdaman at kalusugan,” he added.
(The public should divulge all important information — medical history, travel history, or symptoms — so that their health condition would be properly addressed.)
On Monday, President Rodrigo Duterte placed the whole island of Luzon under “enhanced community quarantine” in order to slow down, if not totally contain, the spread of the disease.
Under an enhanced community quarantine, “strict home quarantine shall be implemented in all households; transportation shall be suspended; provision for food and essential services shall be regulated; and heightened presence of uniformed personnel to enforce quarantine procedures will be implemented.”
The World Health Organization declared the disease as a global pandemic after it killed more than,000 people and infected 120,000 others worldwide.
The International Committee on Taxonomy of Viruses named the novel coronavirus as SARS-CoV-2.
The virus causes mild symptoms such as fever and cough for most people but can cause serious illness such as pneumonia for others, especially older adults and people with existing health problems.
Coronavirus is a family of viruses, which surfaces have a crown-like appearance. The viruses are named for the spikes on their surfaces.
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