Cebu’s Garcia clan to file barrage of suits vs docs, hospital for brothers’ death after COVID-19 recovery
CEBU CITY—A prominent political clan in Cebu province has filed a case for medical negligence against two doctors for the death of two of its members after they had recovered from COVID-19.
The Garcia family, led by Cebu Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia, on Tuesday (Dec. 15) asked the Cebu City Prosecutor’s Office to hold the two doctors liable for the death of her two brothers.
The INQUIRER opted not to name the doctors until they reply to the accusations.
At a press conference on Wednesday (Dec. 16), the Garcias said they tapped the expertise of US-based doctor Ravi Durvasula to support the clan’s claim. Durvasula issued a “judicial affidavit” in support of the Garcias’ suit.
It supported the family’s claim that the two Garcias died because of:
- “Lack of observance of standard care and procedure.”
- “Employment of highly questionable and unnecessary tests and treatments”
- “Exaggerated or unsupported laboratory results”
Other clan members also issued affidavits to support the claim.
The Garcias said they will also file a separate case against the same doctors for the death of Nelson. The clan would also file a damage suit against Chong Hua Hospital and some of its officers for estafa for “fraudulent” PhilHealth claims following the deaths of Marlon and Nelson.
In a statement, Chong Hua Hospital denied any irregularity or shortcoming in the treatment of the two Garcias or any COVID-19 patients.
“Our treatment protocols are in compliance with internationally reviewed and accepted guidelines of the global medical community,” it said.
The hospital said it will answer the accusations of the Garcia family one by one one as soon as it gets a copy of the complaint.
The Garcias said Nelson and Marlon both tested positive for SARS Cov2, the virus that causes COVID-19, and had been cleared of the virus when they died on Sept. 1 and Sept. 6.
According to their death certificates, Marlon died of “septic shock due to catheter-related bloodstream infection and ventilator-associated pneumonia” while Nelson died of “cardio-pulmonary arrest secondary to probable massive pulmonary embolism.”
One of the clan members, Winston, said the accreditation of Chong Hua had been suspended for 130,000 members of a cooperative in Cebu.
“We ask you to avoid Chong Hua Hospital like a plague,” said Winston.
Governor Garcia said she believed her two siblings would have been alive if they had not been treated in the hospital.
“We hope that other Cebuanos will not needlessly die because of this very obvious medical negligence, criminal negligence,” said Gwen.
“Such negligence was motivated by criminal greed. We are very clear who are the personalities involved,” she said.
Gwen said one of her brothers also got sick and stayed at home and survived. The other two went to Chong Hua Hospital and died.
“If that isn’t enough warning, I don’t know what else.”
Rep. Pablo John Garcia, another member of the clan, said the family sought the support of a US-based doctor for their case because it was difficult to get one from local doctors as “they immediately stand by their fellow doctors, whether right or wrong.”
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