Capitol to set up guidelines on use of ambulances in district hospitals

THE Cebu Provincial Health Office (PHO) will set up guidelines on the use of government-owned ambulances issued to district hospitals.

The need for guidelines on how to use the ambulances owned and operated by the district hospitals came after the preventive suspension of Dr. Bella Villaganas of the Minglanilla District Hospital.

Villaganas was ordered suspended by Cebu Gov. Hilario Davide III after an alleged hit-and-run victim died due to the refusal of the hospital’s ambulance driver to bring the patient to the hospital.

Provincial Health Officer Dr. Rene Catan said he was instructed by Cebu Gov. Hilario Davide III that all ambulances must be used in all emergencies and not just limit them to hospital to hospital use.

But Catan said there is a need to clarify when a medical incident can be considered as an emergency to justify the use of their ambulances.

For now, PHO is still awaiting the reply of Villaganas as to what happened last week.

Yesterday, the Cebu Provincial Board (PB) approved a resolution to invite Catan to their session next Monday to shed light on what happened.

PB Member Sun Shimura, on behalf of PB Member Raul Bacaltos, filed the resolution asking Catan to attend the next session.

“We just want him (Catan) to clarify the procedures of our district hospitals, particularly on the use of the ambulances,” Shimura said.

This was not the first time the Minglanilla District Hospital was involved in a controversy.

Two years ago, one-year-old Mary Jane Bariquit died at the Minglanilla District Hospital after one of its doctors allegedly refused to treat her when her parents had no money to buy medicines.

Jensen Kaa Tuballa, 4, was rushed to the hospital for loose bowel movements but died after the attending doctor prescribed medicine for respiratory ailments.
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