GOVERNOR Eugenio Jose Lacson is appealing to everyone not to discriminate doctors and other medical personnel because they are the frontliners in the war against the coronavirus disease (Covid-19).
“It’s a shame to discriminate these frontliners. They sacrificed themselves for the profession that they chose but they take care of themselves well and they follow the protocol,” Lacson said.
“That is the worst Filipino trait, to discriminate our health workers,” Lacson emphasized.
Lacson made the statement after he received a letter from some local doctors in the province asking for intervention after several medical staff started complaining of discrimination from the public amid concerns on the spread of coronavirus disease (Covid-19).
Based on a letter made by Riverside Medical Center Corporate Communications head Chuck Estrella and addressed to Lacson, some of their employees were denied rides by trisikads and jeepneys, after the first Covid-19 positive patient was reported.
Coffee shops have also reportedly denied them entry and some were reportedly even verbally harassed by police officers. They have also received reports that some landlords and their neighbors were ordering their staff to vacate the premises fearing possible contamination.
“After all the sacrifices they made, including risking their lives, this is what we expect them to face?” Estrella questioned.
In another letter made by Dr. Connie Rose Benjamin of the Philippine College of Physicians-Negros Occidental, she urged the governor to intervene, pointing that not all medical personnel in the said hospital have been exposed to the Covid-19 positive patient.
She said that even before the patient had tested positive, he had already been placed in an isolation room, and the medical staff who got exposed are already on quarantine.
Benjamin added that the public should avoid discriminating medical workers, as they also need mental and emotional support.
In response to the harassment accusations coming from the police, Bacolod City Police Office Spokesperson Police Lt. Colonel Ariel Pico, urged Riverside Medical Center to forward to their office the names of the police officers in question.
Pico said such behavior will not be tolerated as it violates the code of ethics of the academy.
The police official also said that once they receive the names of the cops in question, they will immediately conduct an investigation, and if proven, the involved police officers may face sanctions.