UP Manila academic employees' union slam Ramon Tulfo for 'abusive behavior'
MANILA, Philippines – Faculty members and professional staff of the University of the Philippines (UP) in Manila slammed radio broadcaster and columnist Ramon Tulfo for his “abusive and atrocious behavior” at the Philippine General Hospital (PGH) earlier this week.
The All UP Academic Employees Union-Manila Chapter, which includes PGH doctors and consultants, issued the statement on Friday, August 17, a day after the incident involving Tulfo.
“The All UP Academic Employees Union-Manila Chapter, representing the faculty and the research, extension, and professional staff (REPS) of the University of the Philippines in Manila, including the resident physicians and consultants of the Philippine General Hospital, strongly condemns the abusive and atrocious behavior exhibited by Mr Ramon Tulfo at the PGH Emergency Room yesterday, August 16,” the statement read.
It urged the PGH administration and the UP Manila leadership “to take direct and formal action against Mr Tulfo regarding the matter.”
“These two institutions have the legal and moral mandate to protect those under the purview of their responsibility, be they health personnel, students, or patients,” it said.
In a Facebook post on Thursday, Tulfo posted a video of his “PGH experience,” which has over 460,000 views as of posting. He brought a 6-year-old girl to the PGH emergency room after his driver accidentally bumped her as their vehicle navigated a congested street in Navotas that day.
Tulfo’s staff took a video of the broadcaster with the minor, who sustained minor injuries, and her mother at the ER desk. The video also showed the ER doctor manning the desk.
“The ER doctor, Jay Guerrero, did not want to give the child first aid treatment, saying he didn't want it recorded on video. No amount of pleading from me to attend to the young patient would budge the good doctor,” Tulfo said in his post.
Tulfo could be overheard hurling expletives at the doctor as the broadcaster demanded to have the child checked first. The mother was seen trying to stop Tulfo, and commented that her daughter was getting scared.
In the thread of his Facebook post, Tulfo said he would file a case against the ER doctor before the Professional Regulation Commission (PRC).
“Sasampahan ko siya ng kaso sa Professional Regulations Commission (PRC). May mga witnesses akong kasama (I will file a case against him with the Professional Regulations Commission (PRC). I had witnesses with me,” Tulfo said.
Follow the process
In its statement, the union said first of all, Tulfo disregarded the “triage” – or the assignment of degrees of urgency to injuries or illnesses to determine the order of treatment among a large number of patients who need medical attention.
The union said Tulfo “bullied and verbally abused the ER staff under the pretext of expediting service to his patient.”
“The actions of Mr Tulfo are not only grossly irresponsible, but also patently endanger the lives of other patients under the care of the PGH ER staff. Furthermore, Mr Tulfo’s video clearly violates the fundamental rights of both the PGH personnel and the patients,” they added.
Tulfo himself said in Filipino in the comments thread in his Facebook post that the child “did not obtain serious injury other than scratches.”
No to doctor-shaming
The union also condemned “attempts at doctor shaming instigated by Mr Tulfo through various platforms on social media.”
“We enjoin the Filipino people to continue working with their healthcare providers to attain the services they require, and to remain vigilant against crass opportunists who will do everything to deflect accountability from their own misdeeds,” it added.
The union also enjoined the PGH and UP Manila administrations to give assistance to the young patient and her family.
"As a minor, the patient has been subjected to undue duress brought about by Mr Tulfo’s video and she and her family may require further help in the future," it said.
The union added: "We continue to support all of the health personnel, staff, and students working in PGH, as they remain steadfast in their unwavering service to the poor despite the very far-from-ideal working conditions afforded by the Philippine healthcare system."
Netizens weigh in
Some netizens supported Tulfo and lamented the services of government hospitals, in general, but others called him out for disregarding the necessary steps in emergency consultations in a public hospital always packed with patients.
“Paperworks and interviews are part and parcel of the whole process, especially considering it's a public hospital. Everything has to be documented as most of the fees are shouldered by the government,” a netizen apparently knowledgeable about hospital procedure wrote in her comment on Tulfo’s post.
“Sa totoo lang, mas nakahassle pa kayo sa sistema kesa nakatulong. Wala na ngang tubig at may shortage na nang supplies, binibuwisit 'nyo pa mga empleyado. Nahiya naman 'yung mga totoong nag-aagaw buhay sa inyo kasi gusto ‘nyo kayo ang unahin,” she told Tulfo.
(In all honesty, you didn’t help the system; you added to the problem. There was no water, there’s a shortage of supplies, and you harassed the employees. It would be a shame to attend to the dying since you're demanding you be attended to first.)
Others said Tulfo should have gone to a private hospital so that he would not have to compete with patients who can’t afford private medical attention. – Rappler.com