Manaloto reprimands hospital staff
by Cristina C. Birondo
December 30, 2004
Cebu City Medical Center chief Dr. Felicitas Manaloto has reprimanded hospital staffs who attended to a City Hall employee whose death was blamed on the hospital’s poor services.
Manaloto already submitted to Mayor Tomas Osmeña the result of her fact-finding inquiry but she refused to divulge the result of her investigation until the mayor reads it when he comes back on Monday from his vacation trip in Hongkong.
Nevertheless, Manaloto scantily revealed information saying, “the only thing I have done was that I reprimanded the (surgery) team that attended to the patient and implemented some improvements in the procedures and protocols in the hospital, including those who are assigned at the billing section”.
Although Manaloto neither denied nor confirmed if she has found negligence on the doctors or nurses attending to Jefferson Navaja, Manaloto said the physicians who conducted the X-ray examination and read the results were not experts on this field because they are not radiologists.
She said the three resident radiologists of the hospital only report to work until 5 p.m. and that they only go to the hospital during nighttime when the need arises.
Further, Manaloto denied reports that nurse Michael Abella was allegedly the one who decided on his own to hold the transfer of Navaja from CCMC to Chong Hua Hospital.
Manaloto admitted Abella was employed at CCMC just two months ago but that every new CCMC staff is always given orientation of the procedures and policies adopted by the hospital at the time of their hiring.
On the other hand, councilor Christopher Alix, who is also the chairman of the city council’s committee on social services, said what could have transpired resulted to “lack of communication” between the attending nurse and the doctor.”
He said that under the law, a patient could not be discharged without consent from the attending doctor, certifying in the discharge permit that the patient is already physically fit for release from the hospital.
Otherwise, the patient, his watcher or relatives will be asked to sign a waiver.
Alix suggested for a re-orientation to be conducted to CCMC staff to let them be abreast of the policies and procedures of the hospital, especially that there are new staffs hired every now and then.
Further, councilor Gerardo Carillo promised to facilitate on the progress of this particular case.
“We will see the culpability of the doctors. If they need to answer criminally, we will file a case at the Ombudsman,” Carillo said.
Navaja, who also served as driver of Margot Osmeña, the wife of Mayor Tomas Osmeña, was brought to CCMC barely an hour before midnight of December 24 after a cab hit his motorcycle in barangay Labagon.
Alix said Navaja should have been subjected to a thorough examination, being a victim of a vehicular accident.
Aside from not being subjected to a CT scan, his X-ray results only showed that he sustained minor injuries, contrary to the result of the autopsy conducted by the National Bureau of Investigation to Navaja’s body that showed that the cause of his death was traumatic head injuries.
Julie Navaja, the wife of the patient and who is also an employee of the public information office of Cebu City Hall, complained of the inaccurate X-ray results and of the delays in the processing of her husband’s discharge permits which was partly caused by their pending bills at CCMC amounting to over a thousand.
Julie said had her husband immediately transferred to Chong Hua, he would have been saved. Navaja was pronounced dead at the Chong Hua Hospital at past 2 p.m. on December 25.