MANILA- Hospitals should still accept patients with ailments or symptoms other than the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19), Health Secretary Francisco Duque III said Monday, in light of reports that virus-free patients seeking treatment were being turned away by medical centers.
Duque said he would issue a memorandum this week to remind hospitals of their responsibility to attend to the other needs of the sick despite the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Kailangan kung merong ibang sakit at kinakailangan iospital dahil 'yun ang desisyon ng doctor, hindi pwedeng talikuran o sarhan ng ospital. Hindi pupwede 'yun,” Duque said in an interview on radio dzMM.
(If there are other ailments and there is a need for hospitalization, they cannot be turned away. That’s not allowed.)
The health chief urged all hospitals in the country to cooperate with the government and continue to provide support to sick Filipinos.
"Huwag na po natin pahirapan pa ang ating mga kababayan, kung meron silang ibang sakit ay kinakailangan ma-ospital, masuri maigi, madiagnose ng tama ay kailangan suportahan po natin ang ating mga pasyente,” he said.
(Let’s not make it difficult for our countrymen. If they have other ailments and they need to be hospitalized or diagnosed then we need to support our patients.)
The virus -- which has upended lives, closing businesses and schools -- has killed more than 13,000 people and infected over 300,000 around the world, with the epicenter now in Europe after shifting from China where the illness first emerged late last year.
- With Agence France-Presse