Garcias set conditions for talks with hospital where 2 brothers died

The powerful Garcia family of Cebu demanded that they first be provided with medical records before starting a dialogue with Chong Hua Hospital (CHH), where two Garcia brothers recently died after reportedly recovering from COVID-19.

According to Winston Garcia, former president of the Government Service Insurance System, his family is asking for records to explain why his brothers, Barili mayor Marlon Garcia and former Dumanjug mayor Nelson Garcia, died despite reportedly having recovered from the coronavirus disease.

"We are also open to dialogue but before we go to dialogue with them – as we are demanding for answers – we have a lot of questions, they should not clamp back on the records that we are asking. Provide us all the records that we are asking," he told Cebu reporters in a phone call on Saturday, September 19.

This was in response to a statement released by CHH saying it is willing to hold a dialogue with the family to answer questions surrounding the death of the two brothers.

"The team of medical experts in our hospital provides only the best possible care for its patients," CHH said in a statement on Friday, September 18.

Among the documents being requested by the Garcias are clinical records, nurses' notes, and records of procedures done on their two brothers.

And although there had been attempts from the Garcia family to obtain the records, Winston said the hospital required them to present Nelson and Marlon's death certificates, identification cards, and special power of attorney.

He went on to say he believes the requirements are mere "excuses" to withhold from them the records of their brothers' admission in the hospital.

"Our two brothers died and we are now made to pay almost P9 million ($185,666). If they are really sincere, they should not clam up. They should be willing to give us the records," he said.

In a previous press conference, the family disclosed that Marlon's hospital bills amounted to P5.2 million ($107,270) while Nelson’s bill amounted to P3.2 million ($66,000).

Winston pointed out that each of his brothers were charged about P800,000 ($16,500) for PPEs alone.

Chong Hua is a private hospital in Cebu City. With 120 units, it has the largest COVID-19 bed allocation among the rest of the private hospitals in the city.

Winston described as "scandalous" his brothers’ hospital bills from almost a month of confinement.

The Garcia family, a powerful political dynasty in Cebu island, had previously announced through Governor Gwendolyn Garcia and Deputy Speaker Pablo John Garcia that they will be investigating CHH over the death of their brothers.

Nelson died first of cardiopulmonary arrest secondary to probable massive pulmonary embolism on September 1. Less than a week later, Marlon died of septic shock secondary to catheter-related blood stream infection and pneumonia on September 6. –