Caught on camera
For far too often, we’ve heard of stories about abusive and neglectful doctors and medical staff in Cebu’s hospitals that we tend to forget that they are also human beings who cannot accommodate every complaint raised to their attention due to the sheer number and enormity of the cases they were already dealing with at the time.
Such was the case of the nurse assigned at the Balamban District Hospital who was shown in a viral video being struck by a female patient for allegedly neglecting her daughter who was also hospitalized with her for diarrhea.
With several emergency cases to handle, the nurse and some staff had their hands full, and this didn’t sit well with the female patient who was accompanied by her husband in confronting and berating the nurse.
What the female patient and her husband may have conveniently forgotten is that in this day and age of social media, any public display of aggressive or abusive behavior tends to be recorded for posterity and evidence by any person within earshot and with a camera phone in his or her possession.
Thanks to that watchful netizen, a cell phone video recording of the incident had been made even if it didn’t clearly identify the female patient and her husband since it was recorded in secret. Still, the footage can be used as evidence for the nurse, who plans on filing charges against the female patient and her husband.
Would it have been too much for the female patient to simply tell her husband to follow it up with the nurse or did she feel then that she had to do it herself? As it was, the female patient wanted the nurse to adjust the tubing attached to her daughter to stop the backflow of dextrose administered to her, which a nurse could have simply instructed someone like the patient’s husband to do for her daughter.
That the patient along with her husband had to confront the nurse and then hit her was not only wrong but a waste of time and effort that will invite legal action.
Even if they didn’t know that the viral video of the incident drew public sympathy for the nurse and outrage over their abusive behavior, the female patient and her husband knew enough to keep their mouths shut and to hide from public view as they refused to be interviewed in relation to the case.
There is the likelihood that the female patient will settle the case with the nurse, who may want to pursue her complaint or agree to the settlement whichever way she deems best for her interest.
The incident also showed how much work the Cebu provincial government faces in upgrading their hospitals to meet the medical needs of their constituents.
The lack of personnel and facilities had been an issue raised against Cebu Gov. Hilario Davide III in last year’s elections, and what happened to the nurse simply dramatized that predicament faced by Cebuanos who rely on government hospitals for their medical care.
While the incident will remind patients to be reasonable in dealing with medical personnel attending to their needs, the Cebu provincial government should take it as motivation to further improve medical services to their constituents.
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