DOH: Hospitals cannot refuse patients with COVID-19 symptoms

3 years ago 0 Comments

MANILA — The Department of Health (DOH) on Wednesday assured the public that all hospitals are obligated to accept patients with symptoms of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) amid the rising number of cases.

Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire told reporters that all hospitals have a performance commitment and that they could face sanctions if they violate their obligation to patients.

She said this amid confusion on reports that The Medical City in Pasig has started refusing patients as it already has 8 confirmed cases in isolation.

“This was just a miscommunication,” Vergeire said. “Because the patients were tested and because their symptoms were mild they were told to go home. But once the results were received they were asked to return.”

“You (hospitals) don’t have a right to refuse. Lahat po ng ospital kailangan tumulong sa gobyerno ngayon (All hospitals must help the government now),” she said.

Vergeire also explained that PhilHealth also issued a circular reminding hospitals not to turn away patients. 

The Medical City also issued a statement explaining their protocol in handling patients under investigation for COVID-19.

“While our hospital staff wear the prescribed protective gears and follow the prescribed protocols, exposure to the virus cannot be 100 percent avoided. Upon exposure to eventually-confirmed cases, mandatory quarantine of our healthcare staff for 14 days is strictly followed,” the hospital said.

It explained that this has an effect on their manpower and the well-being of their staff. 

“Last night, seeing that an acceptable balance had to be maintained between following globally-mandated protocols to address a sudden surge and the capacity of our hospital to mobilize a fully-equipped and protected staff, an internal memo from the head of our Epidemic Rapid Response Team meant to temporarily control the in-flow of new cases was unfortunately leaked to the social media,” Medical City explained.


The Philippines has 49 confirmed COVID-19 patients, with 16 new cases confirmed Wednesday. 

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