Doctors sorry if Duterte took their suggestions as ‘call for a revolt’

04-Aug-2020 Intellasia | PhilStar | 6:02 AM Print This Post

The Philippine College of Physicians on Monday apologised that President Rodrigo Duterte took the call of medical workers for a return to a stricter quarantine as their demeaning the government and calling for a revolution.

In a clarificatory letter posted on PCP’s website, Dr Mario Panaligan, PCP president, said that Duterte’s “quick response on the matter was highly appreciated” and that help that the president had offered the medical community would “go a long way.”

Panaligan stressed, however, that the call for ECQ was not just give medical doctors a chance to rest and also provide the best quality of health care to patients.

He said, though, that the PCP was “taken aback and surprised” at some of Duterte’s comments about the medical workers who gave a statement on Saturday.

“If you closely review the virtual conference on August 1, there was never a call for a revolt nor was there any threat of leaving patients on their own since our oath instructs us to ‘first do no harm’ to anyone who needs our help,” Panaligan said.

He said that by training and by their nature, doctors are not used to making ultimatums “but if our requests and observations were taken as an assertive display of indignation, we apologise for the way the message was taken in a negative light.”

Panaligan said the PCP wrote the Department of Health a letter in April requesting for test kits to be reserved for healthcare workers who would be on duty on two-week rotations.

He said that the PCP had highlighted then that making sure healthcare workers are healthy would help address their anxieties and boost their morale.

“Three months have passed since that time and after other requests like quarantine facilities for HCWs, insurance coverage and protection from verbal castigation and physical violence to name a few have been left unanswered, we patiently held on as soldiers into battle,” PCP said in its letter, adding that these concerns were “left unheeded.”

The Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Disease were shown discussing those concerns at a televised meeting on Sunday when the president made his speech.

“If we just knew that your office was not briefed in detail about the situation of our workers in both government and private hospitals, we would have sought a private audience with you to settle these issues and made things clear and right,” he also said.

Although Duterte approved the imposition of Modified Enhanced Community Quarantine on Metro Manila, Laguna, Cavite, Risal and Bulacan, he also scolded the medical workers who called for a stricter quarantine classification.

“There would have been no need for you into itong ganito (this kind of thing), raising your hands as if sasabihin ninyo (saying) ‘revolution, revolution’,” the president said Sunday night.

He said that the doctors should have written him a letter or sought a meeting with him instead of “sending a message without even giving government a chance [to address the concerns].”

“Ngayon anong gusto ninyo (Now what do you want), I will carry out other things in this government without informing you. Would you be happy with that?” he also said.

He added: “If you think this can be solved revolution, then by all means, start it.”


Category: Philippines

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