Cebu hospital's license at stake

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Wednesday, May 14, 2014

THE alleged taping incident that happened within its facility may cause trouble for the management of Cebu Puericulture Center and Maternity House (CPCMH).

Officials of the Department of Health (DOH) Central Visayas on Wednesday said renewal of CPCMH’s license could be jeopardized after incident revealed that the hospital uses pacifiers on breastfeeding infants.

This, as the Cebu City Council yesterday condemned alleged taping of the mouth of the 11-day-old baby of Ryan Noval and Jasmine Badocdoc to hold a pacifier in place. The couple’s baby reportedly kept on crying; the pacifier was placed so the baby would not disturb the other babies in the nursery.


As a result of the incident, the council also wants to enact a “patients’ rights” ordinance that would penalize health practitioners who do not treat patients properly.


As for CPCMH’s license, Dr. Josie Ann Danes, DOH 7 program coordinator of the Mother-Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative, told reporters in a press conference yesterday that the hospital may have failed to comply with the program’s 10 Steps to Successful Breastfeeding.

The ninth step provides that a mother-baby friendly hospital must not give artificial tests or pacifiers to breastfeeding infants as a way to soothe them.

FATHER’S DAY IN THE CITY COUNCIL. Ryan Noval gets teary-eyed while talking with Councilor Gerardo Carillo (right) during the Cebu City Council session, where he narrated how he found his newborn son’s upper lip covered by a strip of medical tape. The council is considering an ordinance to punish health care practitioners who fail to treat their patients right. (SUN.STAR FOTO/ALLAN DEFENSOR)

One of the photos that Noval posted on his social media account showed his baby, still with the medical adhesive tape on his mouth and a blue pacifier placed near the head.

Danes said that starting this year, the program is being strictly implemented and is a requirement for hospitals in renewing licenses. CPCMH, she added, had sent a letter of intent to have themselves assessed for the program. CPCMH has until October to improve its facilities and ensure that the program is fully implemented.

Danes, however, said that the incident could subject CPCMH’s license to scrutiny.

Probe results

As regards the investigation on the incident, DOH 7 public information officer Suzette Jabonete said the fact-finding team tasked to investigate has until the end of the week to submit the results.

Noval, in a press conference Tuesday night, said he expects results from the investigations within a week.

Jabonete said that if hospital officials refuse to cooperate in the investigation, they will issue another advise for them to provide them with a report.

At the Cebu City Council session yesterday, Councilor Lea Japson said in a privilege speech that taping the mouth of a newborn child is condemnable as it is “inhumane” and “insensitive.”

“The recent news of a baby being taped in the mouth... has struck a wrong chord in my senses, especially so that the victim is helpless against the inhumane treatment by the nurse. The baby cannot fight back...the baby does not deserve to be treated that way,” she said.

Noval was at the session when Japson spoke.

‘Bad image’

Japson, chairperson of the council’s committee on women and family affairs, said the incident has tainted the image of the city of having several state-of-the-art hospitals that caters to both locals and foreigners.

“That is a testament that our beloved city is prosperous and the quality of life is good. Unfortunately, with the recent news which went viral, the good reputation has been besmirched,” she said.

Japson also said child abuse charges should be filed against the nurse to set an example to others that such conduct is not tolerated. CPCMH, on the hand, should also look deeper into the incident and make a firm stand on the action made by the nurse involved.

She also asked the Philippine Nurses Association to conduct a separate investigation on the matter, saying that what the nurse did may be a reflection of the country’s current crop of nurses.

Lastly, Japson is asking the Integrated Bar of the Philippines-Cebu City Chapter to assist the baby’s parents on legal matters if they intend to take the matter to court.

Japson’s motion was approved by the council.

As a corollary motion, Councilor Gerardo Carillo asked the council’s committees on health and laws to study and draft the patients rights ordinance and to ask the DOH and the Commission on Human Rights and the Department of Health to furnish them a copy of their investigation reports in aid of legislation. (Sun.Star Cebu)

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on May 15, 2014.

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