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Davao City council offers help to family of baby denied admission to hospital

/ 10:51 PM September 29, 2011

DAVAO CITY, Philippines—The chair of the health committee of Davao City’s Sangguniang Panlungsod has promised to help bring charges against a local hospital for its alleged refusal last week to admit a month-old infant who subsequently died from an unspecified ailment for lack of treatment.

Councilor Bernardo Al-ag said the parents of the baby were not able to make a deposit demanded by the hospital when they tried to have the baby admitted for diagnosis and treatement.

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He did not say what the child’s illness was, but Al-ag said the hospital’s refusal resulted in the child’s death.

“It’s totally unacceptable,” said Al-ag, a physician.“This kind of news is frustrating and disappointing.”

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He said the hospital, which he did not identify, had clearly violated the law, which requires admission of patients even without payment of deposits in emergency situations. Violators face prison terms of six months to two years and fines of P20,000 to P100,000.

Al-ag said it was against good medical practice to refuse treatment of a patient in serious condition simply because the patient cannot pay a cash deposit.

He said that aside from assisting the parents in filing charges, his committee will also conduct a public inquiry into the matter.

Several hospitals here are known for regularly rejecting patients who fail to put up the required cash deposit for admission.

In 2007, a woman also died after the Davao Adventist Hospital refused to admit her. The family of the woman later sued the hospital.

In March 2010, the Department of Health’s Center for Health Development supported the filing of the case against officials of the hospital.

The City Prosecutor’s Office agreed that there was indeed probable cause to sue the hospital.

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Hospital officials contested the prosecutor’s decision and tried to quash the case by asking for a reinvestigation.

Last month, city prosecutor Carlos Castaños Jr. rejected the appeal filed by Dr. Imelda Layon, resident physician, and Dr. Geovani Patalinghug, president of Davao Adventist Hospital, for a reinvestigation of the case filed against them by the woman’s family.

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TAGS: baby denied hospital admission, Councilor Bernardo Al-ag, Davao City Sangguniang Panlungsod, death of infant, lack of treatment
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