Sotto, DOH-7 deny frontliners ‘coerced’ to go to NCR

By: Morexette Marie B. Erram - Multimedia Reporter - CDN Digital | April 11,2021 - 03:35 PM
Sotto, DOH-7 deny frontliners ‘coerced’ to go to NCR

The ceremonial send-off of the 50 frontliners from Cebu who will help the government’s COVID-19 response in NCR at the Montebello Hotel in Cebu City last April 7, 2021. | CDN Digital Photo by Morexette Marie Erram

CEBU CITY, Philippines — Two of Central Visayas’ top health institutions denied that some medical frontliners from Cebu were coerced to go to Metro Manila.

The Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center (VSMMC) issued a statement on April 11, dismissing reports that their healthcare workers were forced to be assigned to the National Capital Region (NCR).

“Our esteemed doctors and nurses willfully, bravely, and heroically offered themselves to serve our fellow Filipinos in NCR,” said VSMMC hospital chief, Dr. Gerardo Aquino Jr.

This came after news surfaced that some health workers in Cebu reported having been pressured by local officials to fly to the country’s capital. Otherwise, they may lose their jobs.

“Any allegations or rumors that deliberately embarrassed and maligned these efforts and services are condemned and cannot be tolerated by this institution,” added Aquino.

“In fact, when the call for volunteers was made, a number of Sottonians wanted to be part of the team. (This shows) that our shared ways of thinking coupled with our core values are strong and apparent no matter what circumstances (we) are in,” he added.

The Department of Health in Central Visayas (DOH-7), for their part, also denied allegations that they forced some of their medical staff to be deployed in Metro Manila.

“We categorically deny this. When there was a call to help NCR plus with the deployment of healthcare workers, there was an invitation for them to volunteer and join. We are very proud of them and we salute their dedication to help in this time of crisis,” said DOH-7 spokesperson Dr. Mary Jean Loreche.

To recall, government officials and members of the private sector here sent a total of 50 frontliners from Cebu to Metro Manila last April 7 to help address the spike of COVID-19 there that led to overwhelmed hospitals.

They are the first batch of healthcare workers Visayas pledged to the national government to augment the medical manpower in NCR.

The team consisted of 35 nurses, 11 doctors, and four medical technologists. They came from VSMMC and DOH-7.

READ MORE: Cebu frontliners to receive cash incentives, meds

Visayas is targeting to send a total of 100 healthcare workers to Metro Manila where they will be staying for at least three months.


RELATED STORY: Gov’t target: 100 frontliners from Visayas to be sent to NCR

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TAGS: DOH-7, Dr. Gerardo Aquino Jr., frontliners, medical frontlienrs from Cebu sent to Manila, National Capital Region, NCR, Sotto DOH-7 deny frontliners ‘coerced’ to go to NCR, Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center, VSMMC

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