MANILA - The Makati Medical Center (MMC) on Monday denied reports that it was among the hospitals that have been allegedly charging patients for donated personal protective equipment.
The hospital's statement came after Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. and other netizens complained of some health facilities that allegedly asked patients to pay for health workers' face masks and hazmat suits despite an outpour of donations from the private sector.
"Donations and contributions to the Makati Medical Center - particularly personal protective equipment including masks, gowns coveralls, gloves, etc - are provided to admitted patients at no extra charge," MMC Medical Director and Interim CEO Dr. Saturnino Javier said in a statement.
"Any suggestion or insinuation that MMC profits from these donations is utterly misplaced," he said.
"I will never allow and tolerate this misdeed under my watch," he said.
Javier said it was unfair for people to "cast aspersion" on healthcare facilities that have been trying to address the "unprecedented" coronavirus crisis while grappling with manpower and supplies.
MMC was among 11 hospitals that earlier appealed to the national government for help as coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) patients and suspected carriers crammed into health facilities last month.
"The panic is escalating, mortality is increasing, our supplies of personal protective equipment (PPE) are running short, our frontline staff are increasingly getting depleted as more of them are quarantined or physically and emotiional exhausted, and a number of our medical colleagues are already hooked to respirators fighting for their lives in various ICUs (intensive care units)," the group said in a joint statement.
"We cannot share resources we no longer have," the group said.
Private organizations and several conglomerates donated millions-worth of PPEs to hospitals, while celebrity designers and fashion industry stakeholders turned their ateliers into temporary factories of hazmat suits.
As of April 19, the Philippines has 6,259 confirmed COVID-19 cases in the country. Of these patients, 409 died while 572 recovered.