MANILA, Philippines – Three doctors and a nurse face administrative charges but other medical staff and students got off with relatively light penalties over a controversial surgery scandal in Cebu last January 3.
Radio dzBB’s affiliate in Cebu reported that the Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center made the recommendations following an internal investigation into the incident.
However, Dr. Roque Anthony Paradela, the officer-in-charge who read the recommendations at a press conference, did not name names but said other legal actions will be referred to the Health Department which supervises the Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center.
The hospital released its findings and recommendations even as its head Dr. Gerardo Aquino Jr was summoned to Manila for the health department’s parallel investigation into the case.
Among the findings of the hospital were:
• Three doctors and one nurse in the medical team involved in the operation will face administrative case for possible violation of conduct and ethical standards;
• One doctor and three nurse supervisors were sternly warned and advised to be more cautious in performance of duty as supervisors;
• A clinical instructor alluded to by the staff who misbehaved was banned from the hospital;
• The student allegedly responsible for uploading the video to video-sharing site YouTube should be endorsed to his or her school for disciplinary action; and
• SOPs of the operating room should be reviewed, revised and updated.
Last January’s surgery sparked controversy when a video clip showing doctors and nurses laughing and giggling while conducting the operation was posted on YouTube. The video has since been taken off the audio and video platform.
In the video, loud cheering and shouting can be heard during the operation. Someone then shouted “Baby out!” when the canister was removed from the patient’s rectum.
One of the medical staff even opened the perfumed canister and then started spraying its contents.
The incident also sparked condemnation from many medical groups. The Philippine Medical Association (PMA) had said that if found violating their code of ethics, the doctors could be expelled from the association.
Aside from losing membership from the PMA, the doctors and nurses may either get suspended or have their licenses revoked, according to the Professional Regulation Commission.
Other organizations who voiced their condemnation of the act included the Commission on Human Rights, the Integrated Bar of the Philippines Cebu City chapter. – GMANews.TV