ANGELES CITY Mayor Carmelo Lazatin Jr. has clarified that the Philippine Rehabilitation Institute Medical Center (PRIMC) was never closed but placed under quarantine following the admission of one Covid-19 patient and three persons under investigation (PUIs) from Quezon City.
The mayor issued the statement in reaction to reports that the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) ordered for the immediate reopening of the hospital.
Lazatin said he ordered the lockdown of the hospital after its failure to inform the local government about the admission of the patients from Metro Manila.
DILG Secretary Eduardo Ano said Lazatin’s action against PRIMC contradicts the recently-passed Republic Act Number 11469 or the Bayanihan to Heal as One Act.
Ano added that the new law includes the policy of immediate healthcare to Covid-19 patients, PUIs, and persons under monitoring (PUMs).
Access to healthcare is for everyone regardless of demography and identity, according to the DILG chief.
He said that local chief executives should not discriminate non-resident patients in times of crisis in the same way that physicians have an oath to save lives.
Some residents in the city, through the social media, earlier assailed the PRIMC and the city government for accepting the patients.
But the PRIMC management assured the people of Angeles City that the medical center has taken proper measures to ensure that the safety of the citizens of Pampanga, including its health workers and frontliners, are not compromised.
Before accepting Covid-19 suspected/positive patients, PRI Medical Center said it has done the necessary steps and prepared its facilities to accommodate both health workers and frontliners as well as patients in need of medical support.