Community doctor twits Harry Roque: Putting self above others 'unchristian'


Posted at Apr 15 2021 05:22 PM

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Roque says took 4 days to get hospital bed

MANILA - A community doctor on Thursday expressed disappointment that presidential spokesman Harry Roque was able to quickly get COVID-19 treatment at the Philippine General Hospital despite reports of a long line of patients waiting to be admitted at the state-run facility.

"Let me just say that it's very disappointing, to say the least. Because even among doctors, siguro kung kami 'yon dahil kami 'yong staff do'n (maybe if it was us because we are staff members), we might be prioritized," Dr. Gene Nisperos, board member of the Community Medicine Development Foundation, told ANC.

"But even our own families, we have to fall in line because we know that anyone of us if we skip the line, then everybody skips the line. Palakasan na lahat 'yan (It will be a patronage system)," he added.

Roque was admitted at the PGH on Saturday for his second bout of COVID-19. He had denied using influence to secure hospital treatment while most hospitals in the capital region were swamped with patients fighting the disease.

This also prompted him to say it was unchristian for people to question how he got a COVID-19 bed.

But for Nisperos, who teaches at the UP College of Medicine, selfishness is unchristian.

"Selfishness is very unchristian and putting yourself above others," he said.

Roque said Thursday he was set to be discharged after nearly a week in hospital. He was able to hold press briefings while recuperating at the PGH.

For Nisperos, this indicated that "it doesn't look like he was really in dire need of hospitalization at the time when he entered the hospital."

"Somebody else would have benefited from that," Nisperos said.

"If you were not in dire need and you have hundreds of people waiting in line, what is the most Christian way to do? Let them go first," he added.


Roque on Thursday said it took him 4 days to secure admission at the Philippine General Hospital during his second bout with COVID-19. 

"Nasa ordinaryong room po ako," Roque said, in response to speculation that he might have used a PGH room reserved for President Rodrigo Duterte. 

"It took 4 days before I could actually enter. Nang nagsimula po akong magkaroon ng symptoms, binigyan ko na po ng timbre ang aking mga doktor dito sa PGH at it was only when my oxygen level went down to 90 that I was asked to come in," he said in a press. briefing. 

(When I started to have symptoms, I gave my doctors here at PGH a head's up, and it was only when my oxygen level went down to 90 that I was asked to come in.)

Roque said he did not know if his new battle with COVID-19 was a re-infection. He first disclosed that he tested positive for the novel coronavirus in March, during which he said he was asymptomatic. 

"What I know is I was admitted with a serious case of COVID and all those that I have had close contacts with were informed at lahat naman po sila nakapag-test at harinawa negatibo naman po," he said. 

(All of them were tested and God willing, they were negative.)