SOCIETY cannot overstress enough the significance of the value of honesty among healthcare professionals. For one cannot afford to have healthcare providers with questionable integrity as the latter have been entrusted with the lives of their patients or clients (in the perspective of collaborative and capitalistic medical structure). This is why schools of healthcare professions are stringent on this pressing matter by building healthcare providers with the conscience to heal and care.

I used to recall in college then how our instructors always reminded us to be honest and possess the clinical conscience. For no one, in the tour of practice would readily detect a cheating healthcare provider.

I shall be enumerating several scenarios of which dishonesty was manifested among nurses and some doctors for the past eight years of my professional experiences in the clinical areas.

There were instances wherein nurses, perhaps out of the bustling nature of work, inadvertently forget to administer certain medications as scheduled to their patients. Yet, they still sign on the patients’ charts validating their claims that they have indeed given the medications so as to save themselves the trouble of explaining for the lapses. But who is at loss? No one but the patients themselves. What is more troubling is the possible consequences of not receiving the medicines as scheduled for life-threatening disease conditions.

Looking back, I had a colleague who once forgot to administer a bronchodilator nebulization to a patient suffering from pneumonia. This was confirmed by the patient himself. When I checked the chart, it had already been signed.

After confronting this colleague, he admitted he had not given the medication but deliberately signed on the chart to save him from the admonishments of the head nurse.

Luckily, nothing serious happened to the patient as a consequence.

In another instance, I had witnessed first-hand how a physician, out of capitalism, prescribes irrationally branded medicines (technically vitamins and food supplements) to their patients. It was then learned that this particular doctor had inked a tie-up with a certain pharmaceutical company and was targeting to reach a certain quota in order to retrieve the promised rebates from the said company.

Another similar incidence was when healthcare providers, in order to collect more through Phil.Health reimbursements, deliberately alter the actual diagnosis. There was also an instance wherein a certain obstetrician imposed the surgical operation of a C-section to a lowly woman, who did not really need to go through the said operation. But because of the promise of PhilHealth reimbursement to the health professional, the said obstetrician performed the surgical procedure, unethically.

These are just some of the many examples of dishonesty rotting the healthcare industry.

Whatever happened to the paragon of virtue that once defined the discipline of health professions?