Medical negligence suit vs Cebu hospital filed before DOH
CEBU, PHILIPPINES—The parents of 8-month-old baby Harry Morgan Visaya, who died due to alleged medical negligence at the St Anthony Mother and Child Hospital (SAMCH), have lodged on Monday, June 15, a formal complaint before the Department of Health in Central Visayas (DOH-7).
Among the respondents are Chief Doctor Robert Denopol, his daughter Rhea Pacana, and attending physicians Roselle Lampayan and Venus Barte.
The doctors at the Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center (VSMMC), where the child eventually died, were not included in the complaint.
No official from the DOH personally received the complaint from Harry's parents Haryl and Marife, who were accompanied by a lawyer. They were directed to leave their complaint with the security guard.
The Visayas first sought to file the complaint before the National Bureau of Investigation but they were told it would be useless to conduct an autopsy on the child since the cause of death is dehydration. NBI said they will only assist the DOH in conducting the probe.
The story of the 8-month-old infant gripped the province since alleged details of incidents before his death circulated in the social media.
He was admitted to the hospital on June 3 because of diarrhea but his health condition worsened allegedly because of repeated failures by hospital staff to reattach the IV fluid that kept being dislodged.
The Visayas were later advised to transfer the child from the secondary hospital to a tertiary hospital. Harry was brought to the VSMMC, where he would die shortly due to acute gastroenteritis with severe dehydration in hypotensive shock.
In Facebook posts, the Visayas blamed their child's death on alleged negligence on the part of SAMCH. The story went viral and the local media picked it up.
"We were preparing for snacks for the funeral when we should have been preparing for his upcoming birthday on October 8,” Marife's sister Michelle, speaking in the Visayan vernacular, told reporters after Harry's funeral rites on June 10.
Hospital welcomes complaint
The administration of SAMCH in Basak-San Nicolas welcomed the formal complaint.
SAMCH Chief of Hospital Robert Denopol lamented how the hospital has been subjected to "unfair" public scrutiny.
Denopol himself met with the Visaya couple on Monday although he refused to immediately grant their request for copies of certain medical documents pending the hospital's own probe into the child's death.
"I do not know why he would purposely stall the issuance of the documents. He told us to wait for 15 days because he will still consult with the DOH,” Marife said on Monday.
A 7-member fact-finding ad hoc committee was formed by the hospital to investigate what happened.
Denopol promised an objective probe. The attending doctors Barte and Lampayan will be asked to submit incident reports. They will not be a part of the investigation team headed by Rosenie Coronado, chief nurse of SAMCH.
The family said they will not agree to a settlement.
"We never considered agreeing to a settlement with the hospital. We want them to explain what happened to my nephew. If she is not a mother and would not understand how we feel, she should at least explain to us out of respect for her profession,” said Michelle. – Rappler.com