“We are saddened and angered by what happened to our dear colleague and other health workers who died fighting COVID-19. We are all victims of the gross neglect of the DOH and Duterte administration. This administration does not value health workers because even in (Duterte’s) 5th State of the Nation Address, he still did not lay down comprehensive, systematic and scientific measures on how to defeat the virus.” — Cristy Donguines, President, Jose Reyes Memorial Medical Center Employees Union-Alliance of Health Workers
By Joseph Cuevas
Members of the Jose Reyes Memorial Medical Center (JRMMC) Employees Union-Alliance of Health Workers held a protest rally last August 3 to denounce the death of their fellow health worker who died of Covid-19 they said was due to gross negligence of the hospital management, the Department of Health (DOH) and the Rodrigo Duterte government.
Judyn Bonn Suerte, a JRRMC employee and active union member succumbed last July 31 to Covid 19. He was among the 20 health workers of the hospital infected last month.
In a statement, Cristy Donguines, President of JRMMC Employees Union said that Suerte’s life would have been saved if it had been immediately treated by JRMMC and not brought to Dr. Jose N. Rodriguez Memorial Hospital where he died.
“It is painful to think but it is clear to us that this is a major negligence of the hospital management and the DOH itself due to their anti-health workers protocols,” Donguines said.
She added that the management blindly implemented the DOH’s defective protocol that led to the death of a health worker of the said hospital.
DOH has instructed all medical center chiefs and hospital directors that all employees admitted to their respective hospital with severe COVID-19 cases should be transferred to any designated exclusive COVID-19 referral hospitals.
The union revealed that the JRMMC has no free re-swabbing test for its health workers after undergoing quarantine protocols.
“It should be one of the protocols to be implemented by the hospital to ensure that they are really fit to work. Worst, in order to make sure that they are really fit to work, they need to pay for re-swabbing test outside of the hospital that costs P5,500.00 for drive-thru and P4,300 for walk-in tests,” it said.
‘Generals infesting health response
Meanwhile, more doctors and other health care workers agreed with 40 medical associations who earlier asked the Duterte government to again implement an enhanced community quarantine period in Metro Manila.
A statement signed by almost 200 doctors and health care professionals and issued on Second Opinion Facebook page reiterated that the quarantine was a public health measure aimed at saving lives by stopping the spread of disease.
It also rejected the government’s “military type quarantine” it said is oppressive and devoid of scientific sense and health purpose.
The signatories prescribed the immediate removal of DOH Secretary Francisco Duque and all generals and czars “infesting” the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) and replace them with team players from health and related fields.
In addition, the petitioners asked:
* active and aggressive recruitment of health workers;
* immediate provision of substantial funding and financial support for both national and local government interventions;
* continuity of care from the primary to the tertiary levels, and between public and private health facilities;
* enhancing capacities in testing, tracing, isolation, and treatment at the institutional and community level, and utilizing appropriate technologies in the promotion of preventive; and
* public health measures and immediate improvement of COVID-19 data processing and management.
President Duterte has placed Metro Manila and provinces of Bulacan, Rizal, Laguna and under Modified Enhanced Community Quarantine starting today. tomorrow, August 4 as recommendation of IATF to President Duterte.
According to DOH, as of August 3, Covid-19 cases has risen to 103,185, including 5,032 new cases while there had been 4,823, infected health workers and 38 deaths. #