CHR: It’s unjustified for hospitals to refuse patients
MANILA, Philippines — There is no justification behind he refusal of some hospitals to refuse or turn away patients, the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) stressed Thursday, in the wake of cases wherein patients requiring emergency care died after being refused admission.
“While we recognise the current overstretched capacity of hospitals to provide critical care as we are in the middle of a national health emergency, the deaths of patients due to alleged outright refusal of hospitals cannot be justified,” CHR spokesperson Jacqueline Ann de Guia said in a statement.
De Guia issued the statement after some hospitals allegedly demanded for advance payment before accommodating patients.
Such incidents, De Guia said, violate the Anti-Hospital Deposit Law which mandates a hospital or medical clinic with inadequate capacities to fully attend to the patient’s condition.
This includes administering “the necessary emergency treatment and support to stabilize the patient before transferring to another health facility.”
De Guia stressed the need to save as many lives as possible especially in times of a health crisis.
“Denying immediate medical attention to those who may not be infected by the virus, but are equally in danger, defeats the purpose of the emergency health measures being implemented in the country,” she said.
“Every person has an equal right to health and has the right to receive appropriate medical care devoid of any discrimination. Patients in emergency shall be extended immediate medical attention without any deposit, or any form of advance payment for treatment, and should be treated to the best of one’s ability—a principle embodied in physician’s sworn Hippocratic Oath,” she further said.
The Department of Health (DOH) has reminded hospitals not to turn away patients and to continue providing health care services despite the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) health crisis.
President Rodrigo Duterte also earlier ordered the investigation of hospitals that allegedly refused to admit some patients.
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