Pangasinan gov’t doctor under probe for driving away patient

LINGAYEN, Pangasinan — The Provincial Health Office (PHO) is now investigating a doctor of the Western Pangasinan District Hospital (WPDH) in Alaminos City for being rude, impolite and had displayed bad manners unbecoming a professional like him to relatives of a female patient who was suffering from what they call hypokalemia or the lowering of potassium in her body.

Dr. Ana de Guzman, provincial health officer, acted on the complaint posted in the social media Facebook on Tuesday by one Mark Anthony Rios, a resident of Quezon City, that later went viral, where he accused one Dr. Tongson of the WPDH of being rude and disrespectful to him and his wife when they brought his sick sister to WPDH for treatment of her ailment.

Rios stated that they are from Manila vacationing in Pangasinan when his sister was attacked by hypokalemia which was marked by the lowering of potassium in her body that weakened her and needed immediate medical attention, otherwise her heartbeat would stop and will die.

Dr. De Guzman already directed Dr. Susan Merino, chief of WPDH, to direct the concerned doctor to answer and explain in writing the accusation hurled against him by Rios in the social media as De Guzman vowed that “we in the PHO as well as the provincial government will not coddle the wrong doing of any personnel of her office.”

Rios related that her family first brought his sister to the Alaminos District Hospital till they decided to transfer her to the government -owned WPDH operated by the Pangasinan provincial government, for admission but was not given any attention by a certain Dr. Tongson and instead told them to bring the patient to the hospital where she came from as there was no room any more left for her.

He related that when his wife came out from the emergency room to buy food for the patient, It was him who Dr.. Tongson next talked to and blurted : What are you still doing here, I told you already that we have no more room available”.

But Rios told the doctor, the nurse already said the patient could stay if they would bring bed and dextrose for her.

Tongson responded and said the hospital had no dextrose and potassium even if Rios pleaded to allow them to stay and will just buy dextrose and potassium from drug store outside the WPDH.

Rios said the doctor told him the drugstores outside have no dextrose and potassium too and he insisted “that we transfer our patient to another hospital”, an act which Rios said froze him by 10 to 20 seconds.

And to add more insults to the injury, Tongson told Rios to his face ” ano pa ang ginagawa niyo rito ( What are you still doing here).

The sister of Rios was transferred to another hospital and got well , and after that they returned to Manila where Rios made the post on Facebook regarding their sad experience with the WPHD doctor.

PHO Chief Dr. De Guzman said they gave Tongson due process by asking him to explain his side and possibly would ask the presence of Rios to corroborate his accusation.

She said as a government hospital, WPDH cannot deny its services to any patient, even if he or she is from Manila.

Tongson appears to be more in trouble as the Provincial Legal Office as well as the provincial board were asked to conduct separate administrative investigations regarding this incident. PNA