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Roque could have used hospital room reserved for Duterte, says ex-DOH chief

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Apr 13 2021 09:48 AM

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A former health secretary has a theory about how Presidential Spokesman Harry Roque was able to get a hospital room despite a shortage of hospital beds due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Speaking to ABS-CBN's TeleRadyo, former Health Secretary and now Congresswoman Janet Garin said it is possible Roque was able to use a bed inside the Philippine General Hospital that is reserved for the President of the Philippines. 

"As former secretary of health, I am not sure if it still stays now pero sa pagkakaalam ko ang PGH as a hospital ay meron po 'yang kwarto na naka-reserve for the President of the Republic of the Philippines," she said. "'Yan lang po ang ospital na may nakareserve sa Presidente nang Pilipinas all the time."

"Baka lang nung nangyari ito at kailangan siyang dalhin sa opsital ay nakiusap siya na i-waive iyon ng Presidente at ipagamit sa kanya."

Garin said the rule reserving a room for the President in the country’s premier government healthcare facility had been in place even before she was appointed health secretary. 

She said the rule had not been given attention "since the President usually goes to a private hospital." 

She also noted that in some medical facilities, a room usually reserved for the medical director can be converted into a hospital bed. Top health officials can then ask if they can use that bed if all hospital beds are taken, she said. 

Roque first announced on Saturday that he was in hospital for COVID-19 treatment. He said he cannot be discharged until he has completed four more vials of remdesivir, which will leave him confined until Thursday.

He has come under fire for failing to reveal how he got a hospital room when there are many people failing to find available beds in both private and public hospitals. 

Garin, who is a medical doctor, said Roque's use of remdesivir and baricitinib could mean he is suffering moderate to severe COVID-19. "Malamang 'yan bumabagsak ang kanyang oxygenation," she said.

ABS-CBN TeleRadyo, April 12, 2021 

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