Indian News

2 Cebu doctors sued over gov kin's deaths

Source: , Posted On:   17 December 2020

2 Cebu doctors sued over gov kin’s deaths

CEBU CITY — A prominent political family in Cebu has filed a complaint of medical negligence against two doctors of the province’s biggest private hospital over the deaths of two of their relatives who were recovering from COVID-19.

The Garcia family, led by Cebu Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia, on Tuesday asked the city prosecutor’s office to hold the two doctors liable for the death of Barili Mayor Marlon Garcia.

 

A separate case would be filed against the same doctors for the death of Marlon’s brother, former Dumanjug Mayor Nelson Garcia, once the findings of medical experts looking into the latter’s case were released.


No shortcomingsCLAN SUIT Cebu Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia (second from left) appears with her brothers, former Government Service Insurance System general manager Winston Garcia (left) and Rep. Pablo John Garcia (second from right), and their father, former Rep. Pablo Garcia (right), at a press conference on Wednesday to announce the filing of a complaint against two doctors whom they blamed for the deaths of two family members. —DALE G. ISRAEL

Nelson, 61, died on Sept. 1, while Marlon, 58, passed five days later, barely a month after both were admitted to the hospital and treated for COVID-19.

 

The Garcias said they were also preparing a damage suit against Chong Hua Hospital and some of its officers for alleged estafa through falsification of documents resulting from their alleged “fraudulent claims” of reimbursement from Philippine Health Insurance Corp. on the deaths of Marlon and Nelson.

Marlon’s hospital bills reached P5.2 million while Nelson’s was P3 million.

“The family believes that the proper standard of care and treatment of patients Marlon and Nelson Garcia were disregarded and/or overlooked in the selfish desire of the respondent physicians and the hospital to maximize profits for themselves,” the Garcias said in a statement.

“Expensive and unnecessary treatments, laboratory tests, and medical procedures and protocols were employed to justify their exorbitant charges,” they added.

The Inquirer opted not to name the doctors as they had yet to respond to accusations hurled at them.

In a statement on Wednesday, Chong Hua Hospital denied any irregularities or shortcomings in the way its staff had cared for the Garcia brothers or for any of their COVID-19 patients.

“Our treatment protocols are in compliance with internationally reviewed and accepted guidelines of the global medical community,” it said.

 

The hospital said it would answer all accusations of the Garcia family as soon as it received a copy of the complaint.

 

Chong Hua Hospital, which was established in 1909, has 660 beds catering to patients from Cebu and other areas in the Visayas and Mindanao. It is also acknowledged as the home of the region’s top specialists and subspecialists, and has been the referral hospital of choice for doctors and patients seeking the highest level of quality health care.

At a press conference on Wednesday, the Garcias said they tapped the expertise of US-based doctor, Ravi Durvasula, who issued a “judicial affidavit” supporting the claims of the family that there was “lack of observance of standard care and procedure, employment of highly questionable and unnecessary laboratory tests and treatments, and exaggerated or unsupported laboratory results.”

The Garcias said Nelson and Marlon both tested positive for COVID-19, but were already cleared of the virus when they died.

Based on their death certificates, Marlon died of “septic shock due to catheter-related bloodstream infection and ventilator-associated pneumonia” while Nelson died of “cardiopulmonary arrest secondary to probable massive pulmonary embolism.”

Governor Garcia said the doctors who attended to Marlon and Nelson refused to discharge her siblings, who by then had recovered, and instead transferred them to the intensive care unit where they might have been infected.

Marlon, she said, wanted to leave the hospital to save on expenses and was even willing to sign a waiver so he could go home but the doctors refused.

The governor said another brother, Cebu Rep. Pablo John Garcia, also contracted COVID-19 but chose to stay home to recuperate.