Investigators ‘not satisfied’ with hospital’s report-A A +A
Wednesday, May 21, 2014
THE Cebu Puericulture Center and Maternity House (CPCMH) insists its staff had nothing to do with the taping of the lips of a newborn in its nursery.
In a two-page incident report to Department of Health (DOH) 7 Director Jaime Bernadas, the hospital’s medical director Raida Varona also denied they placed a pacifier near the said that aside from denying that they place any tape on the baby, they also denied that a pacifier was placed near the baby.
But officials of the inter-agency task group formed by the Regional Subcommittee for Welfare of Children (RSCWC) were not satisfied with the hospital’s report and plan to summon both parties tomorrow for a full-blown investigation.
The hospital’s reply also reportedly upset the baby’s parents.
‘Merely a denial’
Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma, for his part, urged those responsible for the incident to realize what they have done.
In a press conference, Dr. Lakshmi Legaspi, DOH 7 assistant director, said they received the hospital’s report around 1 p.m. yesterday.
It said the nurse at the time of the incident did not see any plaster of pacifier on the baby’s lips.
Varona also said the hospital prohibits the use of pacifiers for breastfeeding infants, as it is an accredited mother-baby friendly hospital.
She said the nurse whose attention was called by the baby’s mother claimed she was surprised to see the plaster. But despite that, no complaint or even a report was filed before them, she said.
Varona said the baby’s father, Ryan Noval, entered the hospital’s Special Intensive Care Unit (SICU), where the baby was staying, wearing nothing but street clothes and carrying a backpack.
The SICU is considered a sterile area and allows only breastfeeding mothers, Varona said.
“For us, it’s not a valid report. It’s merely a denial. They just shifted the accusation to the father just because he brought a backpack in the hospital. Dili gyud siya makiangayon nga report (It’s not a satisfactory report),” said lawyer Dante Jadman, the RSCWC’s appointed spokesperson.
Jadman, who represents the Commission on Human Rights 7, said they also requested the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) to authenticate and certify pictures of the baby taken by the parents and those that came out in social media.
Lawyer Alan Felix Macaraya, NTC 7 legal officer, said the results of their authentication will come out by Friday.
Jadman said they needed NTC’s certification after the hospital’s lawyer said the pictures had been edited.
After reading Varona’s reply, Noval and his live-in partner Jasmine Badocdoc couldn’t help but be emotional.
“To the (hospital’s) lawyer: ‘Get your s**t together.’ We are coming, okay. This is not fun for us, it’s actually hell. It would be illogical for us to actually put tape on our baby and to fabricate this story. With this notion from your side, it actually angers me. That’s the reaction that you want, you will get the result,” Noval told reporters yesterday.
While he had expected the hospital to protect itself, Noval said its latest denial was just too much.
“Since we threw the first rock at you, defend yourself. And you have every right to do so. But now, you’re playing dirty. And we’ll stay to play clean and justice will prevail,” he said.
In reaction to the controversy, Palma told reporters that everyone has the responsibility to others.
“We know that all of us are our brother’s keepers. We have a responsibility to others, especially to the innocents and those who can’t care for themselves,” he added.
Palma added that while it was sad to know that a child would suffer such cruelties, it was more lamentable when the people tasked to take care of children would do such acts.
He hopes health providers will strive to take care of others and to provide service for the good of others.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on May 22, 2014.