MANILA – Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra has ordered the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) to look into the death of a Nueva Ecija senior citizen who died after allegedly being refused admission by 6 hospitals.
“The DOJ has already directed the NBI to investigate the incident,” Guevarra said in a message Wednesday.
Ladislao Cabling, a 65-year-old farmer, died in his home in Nueva Ecija after 6 hospitals in Cabanatuan City allegedly turned him away due to lack of intensive care unit (ICU) rooms.
His daughter Girlie Cabling-Cabaoan told ABS-CBN News Cabling had difficulty breathing on the night of April 9 that’s why they rushed him to public and private hospitals.
Cabling, who had asthma, was buried Tuesday morning. He was not tested for COVID-19.
President Rodrigo Duterte mentioned Cabling’s case in a late-night press conference on Monday, warning hospitals that he would ask the DOJ to prosecute them.
The President hospitals, especially those state-run, could have looked for a house or room close to the hospital just so the patient could be accommodated.
Hospitals must accept admission of all who are sick, he said, and warned that he would relieve state hospital staffers who deny patients care.
"You fail on that, I will relieve all of you sa hospital. And you can consider yourself suspended, because the written order will follow,” he added.
The Nueva Ecija Inter-Agency Task Force on COVID-19 response said it was investigating the incident.
“Hospitals are going to make a statement…investigation is still on-going with the Department of Health. We need to know the facts before we make any statements. As a protocol and agreement with hospitals, they are to admit all COVID-related patients or any patients in need of treatment…and for COVID patients, there are protocols also in making sure that patients are taken cared of and our health workers are protected as well,” it said in statement to ABS-CBN News.
The Nueva Ecija IATF encouraged patients to call the DOH Hotline 09182454000 so that any patient suspected of COVID-19 will be assisted and referred to the proper hospital and the facility would be prepared as well to handle the case.