Tulfo asks public to secretly record 'arrogant' doctors in gov't hospitals
MANILA, Philippines – Broadcaster and columnist Ramon Tulfo has asked the public to secretly record what he called "arrogant" doctors working at the Philippine General Hospital (PGH) and other government hospitals.
Tulfo said this in a Facebook post on Saturday, August 25 – days after he first drew flak for disrupting emergency operations in PGH, after his driver accidentally bumped a 6-year-old girl in Navotas on August 16. He has refused to apologize for his behavior in the hospital.
"Mga kababayan ko, kunan n'yo ng video ang mga doktor ng PGH at iba pang gov't hospitals na arogante at hindi nag-aasikaso ng mga pasyente. Mas mabuti kung may audio para marinig ang totoong pangyayari," Tulfo said in his latest tirade against government doctors.
(My countrymen, take videos of doctors of PGH and other government hospitals who are arrogant and who do not take care of their patients. It would be better if there's audio so we can listen to what happened.)
"Siyempre, gawin n'yong sekreto. Ipo-post ko rito at makakaasa kayo na itatago ko ang inyong pagkatao," he added.
(Of course, do it in secret. I will then post the videos here, and I assure you, I will hide your identity.)
PGH is a tertiary state-owned hospital administered and operated by the University of the Philippines (UP) Manila.
Is secretly taking videos legal? Former health undersecretary and UP Executive Vice President Teodoro Herbosa said what Tulfo is asking his followers to do would be in violation of the Data Privacy Act, the Anti-Wiretapping Law, and the Cybercrime Prevention Act. (READ: How #NoToDoctorShaming posts highlight gaps in PH healthcare system)
"Labag po sa batas ang pinagagawa sa inyo ni Mr Ramon Tulfo. Napakasama at hindi po makatao (What Mr Ramon Tulfo is asking you to do is against the law. This is bad and inhuman.)," Herbosa said.
Section 1 of Republic Act No. 4200 or the Anti-Wiretapping Law reads: "It shall be unlawful for any person, not being authorized by all the parties to any private communication or spoken word, to tap any wire or cable, or by using any other device or arrangement, to secretly overhear, intercept, or record such communication or spoken word by using a device commonly known as a dictaphone or dictagraph or dictaphone or walkie-talkie or tape recorder, or however otherwise described."
PGH also said Tulfo's "PGH Experience" video violated the patient's right to privacy under the Data Privacy Act and the Code of Ethics of Media Practitioners, as the face of the victim was displayed publicly without consent.
The same thing would happen should Tulfo's followers secretly record government doctors' activities in hospitals.
"At bawal din po ilagay ang video sa Facebook kasi po ay labag naman ito sa Anti-Cybercrime Law ng Pilipinas. Huwag din po kayong makipag-away sa doktor o nurse lalo na sa emergency room," Herbosa said in a Facebook post.
(You're also not allowed to post the video on Facebook because this is against the Anti-Cybercrime Law of the Philippines. Do not fight with doctors or nurses in the emergency room, too.)
The doctor said should the public have any complaints against a doctor, nurse, or health officer working in government, they should write a letter to the director of the hospital involved or call Malacañang's 8888 citizen complaint center.
He also urged Filipinos not to vote for Tulfo should he run for senator in 2019.
Context: Tulfo had previously posted a Facebook video of his "PGH experience," where he could be overheard hurling expletives at the doctor in the emergency room as he demanded priority for the 6-year-old girl his driver accidentally bumped.
The video already has around 910,000 views as of posting.
PGH has since demanded an apology from Tulfo over his "unacceptable and unbecoming" behavior which could have endangered the lives of patients in the emergency room.
Faculty members and professional staff of UP Manila also slammed Tulfo for not following the "Triage" – or the assignment of degrees of urgency to injuries or illnesses to determine the order of treatment among a large number of patients who need medical attention.
But Tulfo has so far refused to apologize to PGH.
"Kelangang baguhin na ang trato ng mga doktor at nars sa kanilang mga pasyenteng mahihirap sa mga gov't hospitals. Binabayaran natin sila sa ating mga buwis," Tulfo said in his latest post, which he also posted on Twitter.
(The doctors and nurses should change the way they treat poor patients in government hospitals. We pay them through our taxes.) – Rappler.com