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  1. #1

    Unhappy UST Hospital maltreatment story

    Anyone know the different sides to this story?



    In a span of less than two months, I have been to
    seven hospitals. The first one was the Bulacan
    Provincial Hospital, where my brother was rushed after
    a motor accident that fractured his weight-bearing leg
    bone, thus leading us to our second stop, the National
    Orthopedic Hospital. A few weeks after, my ate, a
    cousin who grew up with us, had a masectomy at the
    Chinese General Hospital to battle her recently
    discovered and confirmed breast cancer. Just when I
    thought that I have had enough of hospitals, my father
    suffered an incessant nasal bleeding that brought me
    to four hospitals within nine hours, and left me
    wondering at the state of hospitals in our country.

    My fatherís nasal bleeding started at about eight in
    the morning of Sunday, August 12, and continued on and
    off till afternoon. He refused to be brought to the
    hospital and insisted on resting knowing that the
    bleeding was caused by his hypertension. However, at
    about four in the afternoon, he gave in to my prodding
    to see a doctor, since the blood flow was so strong
    that it soaked up a towel in no time at all. Maybe he
    was feeling very weak already. After all, blood had
    been oozing out of his nose and mouth incessantly
    since morning.

    We went to the Malolos EENT Hospital to seek the help
    of an ENT doctor, but there was none. We proceeded to
    the Sacred Heart Hospital, where there was none too.
    Both hospitals gave the same answer: it was a Sunday,
    and their doctors were not there. A question popped in
    my head: does that mean that people are forbidden to
    be sick on a Sunday? The resident doctor at Sacred
    Heart Hospital placed a gauze on my fatherís left
    nostril and advised us to go to Manila where hospitals
    do have ENT specialists even on Sundays especially
    those that are training schools as well, specifically
    suggesting the University of Sto. Tomas Hospital.

    We immediately rushed my father all the way from
    Bulacan to the UST Hospital. We arrived there at past
    seven in the evening, and we were immediately
    accommodated by a very courteous staff member who
    facilitated my fatherís transfer from our vehicle to
    the emergency room via a wheel chair. Initially, we
    were attended to by interns who took my fatherís blood
    pressure and interviewed us about the circumstances of
    the incident and his medical history. Afterwards, ENT
    resident Dr. Nocum came to look at my father. He
    removed the gauze that was placed in my fatherís left
    nostril by the doctor from Bulacan and replaced it
    with a new one. He was assisted by two interns, both
    from the UST School of Medicine, one of them Miss
    Ching. We were told that the bleeding was due to my
    fatherís hypertension, which was somehow expected,
    because something similar to this had occurred before.
    He said that the main concern was to attend to the
    hypertension before the nasal bleeding could be
    addressed. Dr. Nocum then advised us to go home that
    night and to come back the next morning, to which we
    replied that we would rather be admitted so my father
    could rest because Bulacan is not very near UST and it
    was already late. Maybe out of his concern for
    unnecessary expenditure, Dr. Nocum said that my father
    may rest for another three hours in the emergency
    room, and that the patientís condition will be
    monitored and observed. He ordered the two interns to
    page him just in case the bleeding persists, and we
    were very grateful for his kindness. Less than an hour
    after, blood was still oozing out of my fatherís
    nostrils and the gauze was soaked up in no time at
    all. After some time of waiting, the doctor came to
    remove the gauze and replaced it with a gauze double
    the size of the first one. We again insisted on
    getting a room for my father so he can rest, because
    he was really drained and in pain. We were told that
    my father has to be seen by a cardiologist first.
    After a long wait, Dr. Tuazon of Internal Medicine
    came to examine my father and administered a
    medication to stabilize his blood pressure. A series
    of tests were recommended, and we willingly consented
    to all of them. Prior to this, we have made the
    necessary arrangements with the admission office and
    deposited the amount of P10,000.00.

    Unfortunately, that was the end of the medical
    attention that we came for all the way from Bulacan.
    The bleeding continued profusely, and blood was coming
    out from both nostrils and much from the mouth. I kept
    on following up my fatherís situation to the interns
    and the people at the desk, asking them to please page
    Dr. Nocum because our patient was extremely
    uncomfortable. For three times, I watched the desk
    staff closely if he was really paging Dr. Nocum, and
    he was faithful in doing his job. Even the admission
    to the private room was terribly delayed, despite the
    fact that all we were waiting for was an instruction
    from Dr. Tuazon, a piece of paper that I had no idea
    about. I was very persistent and courteous in
    following up my fatherís need for medical attention,
    but it was obviously to no avail.

    But there has to be a breaking point. In his weak,
    trembling voice, my father said: ďIuwi níyo na lang
    ako. Mamamatay lang ako rito.Ē He was in terrible pain
    and pathetically neglected. We arrived at UST Hospital
    past seven in the evening and my father was lying
    unattended, in terrible pain, in the cold emergency
    room a few minutes to midnight.

    I approached Miss Ching once more and asked her why my
    father was not being treated, and with a cold
    shoulder, she replied that they have already paged the
    doctor. I asked her that if the priority was to
    stabilize the blood pressure, how come the
    cardiologist was not attending to my father, to which
    she said with an air of arrogance that he was already
    given a medicine, and that was it. Fed up, I told her
    that since UST Hospital could not give my father the
    medical attention that he needs, we were transferring
    him to another hospital where he will not be
    neglected. I asked for all the bills to be settled, so
    they can all be deducted from the deposit I gave
    before I refund it. I requested if it was possible for
    the two doctors to see my father for one last time
    before we move out, and for them to give us the papers
    that we would be needing to transfer to our hospital
    of choice. It was only then that Dr. Tuazon attended
    to us and told us that my fatherís blood pressure was
    fine, and apologized for being unable to attend to him
    because of the many patients that came in. On the
    other hand, Dr. Nocum, the doctor that we have been
    paging for two hours to no avail, said on the phone
    that he did not come because he thought that my father
    was already admitted to your hospital. He came
    afterwards to give us the same explanation.

    I was there when Dr. Tuazon made the call to Manila
    Doctors Hospital, and in the latter part of the
    conversation, where she was perhaps asked by Dr. Ong,
    the doctor on the other line, of the reason why we
    were moving out, she said it was the ďrelativesí
    decision,Ē and she was right. And as an answer to what
    seemed to be a follow-up question of why we decided to
    do so, she replied ďMedyo hindi naasikaso,Ē a humble
    yet inadequate admission of your hospitalís negligence
    of my father.

    I am writing this to express my frustration on UST
    Hospital. I respect UST Hospital very much because it
    ranks, I believe, among the good medical schools in
    the Philippines, and I wonder why its own hospital
    lacks doctors to attend to patients. I wonder why of
    all the hospitals that we have chanced upon, we had
    our most traumatic experience in a hospital that we
    trusted. I wonder why we were neglected in a hospital
    that takes pride in producing good doctors and medical
    practitioners. Now I wonder if any of my former
    positive notions of the said institution is true.

    The doctors offered very poor excuses, especially Dr.
    Nocum. He was paged incessantly for two hours and did
    not reply even through phone, and his only explanation
    was he thought we were already admitted! That is a
    very lame excuse coming from a man of his dignified
    stature. Even the number of patients is not an
    acceptable reason for us to get such a pathetic
    treatment. There was one and only one doctor in the
    emergency room, and this was UST Hospital! How ironic
    indeed that a hospital that boasts of breeding the
    best doctors in the land had no one to face the many
    patients in need of medical attention.

    And as if to affirm my thought that the hospital has a
    CULTURE OF NEGLIGENCE, someone from the UST Hospital
    staff called us in the emergency room of the Manila
    Doctors Hospital where my father was immediately
    attended to by their ENT residents in lieu of our
    specialist, Dr. Generoso Abes. I was told that we left
    a bill unsettled, amounting to P699.00. I could not
    pretend to be cordial to the person on the other line.
    After moving out of UST Hospital due to negligence,
    the staff had incredible guts to expect us to settle a
    bill that was also due to their negligence! I settled
    all the bills promptly, had them all deducted from our
    deposit before refunding our money, and I believe I
    have done my part. I told the person on the other line
    that I will pay the said amount if they could send
    someone to pick it up from Manila Doctors Hospital
    because there was no way that I was going back to UST
    Hospital. I was requested to please settle it, when I
    have time, and I said yes and even left my mobile
    phone number.

    A day after, I received a text message asking me to
    settle the bill as soon as possible, and I stood by my
    decision to pay the bill only if the EspaŮa-based
    hospital will send someone to the Manila Doctors
    Hospital to pick it up. I received a phone call from
    the UST Hospital staff telling me that he will be
    sending his brother who works at Manila Doctors
    Hospital to collect the payment, and I consented
    without any further thought. The bill was collected on
    Wednesday, August 15. This billing incident is merely
    a reinforcement of UST Hospitalís culture of
    negligence. Six hundred ninety nine pesos, modesty
    aside, is an insignificant amount to pay, but I would
    not succumb to another disturbance and suffering to
    settle something that is due to the poor system that
    the institution has.

    As for the interns, I think that the University of
    Sto. Tomas Hospital and School of Medicine should look
    closely on how they behave and act in the hospital. I
    have friends who have gone to medical school, and I am
    very much aware that interns are not paid to work, but
    are in the hospital as a requirement for the
    completion of their course. They are interns, not
    doctors. And how ironic it seems, it was Miss Ching
    who had the air of authority that night, addressing my
    fifty-year-old father as if he was her age or worse,
    her driver. If not for my father, I would have shut
    her right then and there for making my father feel
    like a guinea pig. She would use her stethoscope on my
    fatherís chest, say there is a murmur, and then
    speculate in our presence of possible heart diseases.
    Later on, her attention shifted to my fatherís
    stomach, hitting it with her finger to hear what sound
    would be created, and speculated once more that my
    father might have an internal disease. She later told
    my father that he was very obese, that he should do
    this and that, and so on and so forth. Yes, my father
    is obese. Some of her speculations might be right. But
    the reality, and the point is, SHE IS NOT YET A DOCTOR
    think the school and the hospital administration must
    look closely at this matter, because Miss Ching
    definitely reflects the kind of doctors that the
    medical school makes. And did I mention that she made
    face, diring-diri, when she was asked by Dr. Nocum to
    remove gauze soaked with blood from my fatherís
    nostrils? Miss Ching is a very neat, beautiful intern;
    well groomed and very presentable but not
    accommodating. I wonder what business she has in the
    medical profession if she abhors blood. Maybe she will
    be better off in the corporate world wearing suits and
    handling accounts in the stock market, or as an active
    player in an advertising firm arranging for photo
    shoots for gossy magazines; anything that would not
    require her to see blood and give her a chance to
    insult a patient.

    When my father was attended to by Dr. Nocum, the
    doctor and the intern, who was the formerís student,
    kept on talking about Miss Chingís boyfriend and the
    like, and as irate as we were for hearing these things
    that are better discussed in casual coffee breaks
    rather than in the emergency room where the patient is
    in agony, we kept our silence so as not to aggravate
    my fatherís hypertension. How would you feel if you
    hear the intern attending to you bargaining for a
    double of merits because she did not have a single
    demerit, my fatherís case being one of her merits? How
    would you feel if you see the arrogant intern
    transforming to a very sweet girl everytime she talks
    to your doctor, while you and your family are very
    much worried because of the non-stop blood flow? It
    is very insulting for us and very unprofessional on
    the doctorís and internís part. Even the exchange of
    Miss Chingís guess and Dr. Nocumís affirmation of
    certain cases was unprofessional too. My father is not
    a specimen for the interns to devour for their
    learning; they have had enough cadavers for that.

    This letter can go on and on, but I would rather stop
    here and focus my remaining energy on my father who is
    now recovering at home four days after that dreadful
    night at the UST Hospital. I am very glad to tell that
    the Manila Doctors Hospital delivered exemplary
    service in attending and caring for my father. The
    very moment that we arrived in their emergency room,
    we were immediately attended by Dr. Edmund Ong and
    another doctor, in lieu of our doctor, and employed
    suction and nasal packing for first aid for the
    bleeding. After Dr. Generoso Abes performed
    cauterization and administered another nasal packing,
    my father had a night of good rest. Soon, we were on
    our way home, relieved and happy that my father is
    safe, alive and comfortable. Maybe it was Godís plan
    for us to be treated as such in UST Hospital so that
    my father will get the attention and service that he
    deserves from Manila Doctors Hospital.

    As a concerned citizen of this country, I wonder how
    the UST Hospital treats patients without financial
    resources. If my father, who was a private, paying
    patient, was treated like dirt, I could not imagine
    how they attend to charity cases. I have been to the
    Bulacan Provincial Hospital and the National
    Orthopedic Hospital, both public hospitals, and the
    attention and service devoted to the patients was
    magnanimous compared to what we got from the UST
    Hospital, a private institution where we went to as
    paying customers. I suddenly recall now the story of
    the younger sister of my father, who went to UST
    Hospital in the early 80ís because she was suffering a
    miscarriage. Before she was attended to, she swore she
    was arrogantly asked by someone from the hospital:
    ďMay pera ka bang pambayad?Ē

    During my fatherís stay at the Manila Doctors
    Hospital, some visitors would share their horrible
    stories about experiences at the UST Hospital. A
    colleague at work likewise shared his ire over your
    internsí behavior and actions when he brought his old
    mother there. Funny, because he himself was an alumnus
    of UST.

    The hurt, the pain, the frustration and burden that my
    father and my family got from the UST Hospital is
    irredeemable. I took time to write this letter to
    inform you about these things, with hopes that someone
    will pay attention to these matters. (I have prepared
    a letter for the director of the hospital and the dean
    of the school of medicine.) I pray to St. Thomas
    (their patron saint) and St. Ignatius (my patron
    saint) that this letter may not be treated in
    accordance to UST Hospitalís culture of negligence, so
    that my father will be the last one to suffer such an
    unfortunate ordeal in their hands.


    The minute I heard my first love story, I started looking for you, not knowing
    how blind that was. Lovers don't finally meet somewhere. They're in each other
    all along.

    Kagawaran ng Filipino, Ateneo de Manila University

    Una sa lahat, nagpapasalamat ako sa lahat ng nagbasa
    ng email ko. Isinulat ko iyan sa huling gabi ng
    pagbababantay ko sa Tatay ko; maniniwala ba kayo na
    may record na ako ng pagiging gising 72-oras na
    diretso? Iba talaga kapag buhay ang nakataya, at buhay
    pa ng taong mahal na mahal mo, kaya di ako nagdalawang
    isip na isulat ang karanasan namin sa UST Hospital.

    Sa totoo lang, sobrang dami naming inaasikaso kaya
    hindi ko alam kung kakayanin kong mag-file ng formal
    legal complaint. Pero malaki ang paniniwala ko sa
    kahalagahan at kapangyarihan ng salita, kaya nagsulat
    na lang ako. Hindi ko nailagay sa email, pero sana,
    HOSPITAL. Bakit? Sa pamamagitan nito, marami ang
    makaaalam at mabibigyan ng babala, at kung talagang
    naniniwala, makaaapekto ito sa reputasyon ng UST
    Hospital. Ganti ko na iyon sa kanila, ang mailabas ang
    kanilang bahong ikinukulong nila sa mga pader ng
    Pontifical University sa EspaŮa! Kung umaalingasaw na
    ang baho nila, naniniwala akong may magtatakip ng
    ilong at may magkakalkal naman sa basura. Pagkatapos
    noon, kung sino ang nasa posisyon ng kapangyarihan,
    hindi maaaring hindi niya mapansin ang basura kaya't
    ipalilinis din niya ang bahaging marumi.

    Kaya't ito lang ang hihilingin ko sa mga taong
    nagbabasa nito ngayon: ikalat ninyo nang ikalat ang
    email sa mga kaibigan at kakilala. Ito ang advocacy ko
    ngayon. Sana nga, hindi na maulit sa iba ang sinapit
    ng Tatay ko. Pakidagdag na lang sa naunang mensahe na
    ipadala nila ito sa ibang tao, para umalingasaw ang
    baho at maraming makaamoy.

    Salamat sa inyong pag-unawa at pakikiisa.


  2. #2

    Lightbulb Just my thoughts on this

    If this is an issue of justice, the court is the proper forum.

  3. #3
    Ah yeah!!!
    Join Date
    Dec 1999


    whew!!!! guess you're right... you're letter may serve as an eye opener to all... we also have a patient in ust, geezzz... we do experienced almost the same thing... tsk..tsk...tsk...

    anyway, i am printing this e-mail and will try to post it there... ano kaya isipin nila... regards to your father... ah yeah!!!

  4. #4
    Mrs. Edward Cullen anghel's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2001
    Edward's pants


    hay, good thing that my dad's doctors are all from the Medical City. as far as i know, he has no problems with them...and the nurses are friendly pa. if ever i get sick, i'll go straight there at di sa UST. actually there is this one doctor in ust that is so arrogant. ayoko nalang sabihin ang name. he was so arrogant to a couple of writers i knew. he happened kasi to attend this presscon about health and when the writers asked him about the topic, instead of explaining, he answered the writers very rude. i am not saying that ALL doctors in UST are arrogant but, I am afraid to go there na to be cured.

    good thing that i knew a couple of good doctors from different hospitals like dr. carandang in cardinal santos (psychologist), dr. kenneth go from up-pgh (pharmacologist and toxicologist), and a couple of heart doctors from the Heart Center.

    Kaya lang, kapag dinemanda naman ni Zimdude ang doctor na iyon at ang UST, me mangyayari ba sa kaso? sometimes, it is easy to say that patients who were treated bad should go to the proper forum like sa justice court but in reality, it is easy said than done. i don't know but i symphatize with Zimdude.

    may angels smile upon you!

  5. #5

    Thumbs down

    I'm not connected to UST in any way, but there are always two sides to a story. I have often seen personally how relatives of patients greatly exaggerate their plight. They appear on TV bemoaning about maltreatment and negligence, but while the UST doctors erred in not considering cauterizing the ethmoidal bleeder, their initial management was correct. For nosebleeds, the first thing you do is to put a nasal pack to tamponade the bleeder and just wait it out until bleeding stops spontaneously. I don't think the father was already in death's door. Personally, while the intern may not have any bedside manners or experience to speak of yet, there's really nothing wrong with talking about your boyfriend in front of patients as long as the patient was being treated when you get down to the nitty-gritty of things. They are paying to be treated, and nice chats don't necessarily come with the package. I guess Miss Panganiban was expecting the intern to hold her father's hand the whole time they were there until the bleeding stops instead of looking at other patients? I don't know. I noticed that the writer glossed over how busy the UST ER was and that the place was understaffed---there is such a thing in medicine as triage, which means you attend to the most serious/urgent cases first and leave the minor problems for later. As for the ENT resident, there is usually just one resident-on-duty every night who is supposed to take care of all inpatients, answer ward referrals, admit ENT patients, assist or do surgeries, as well as respond to ER calls. Miss Panganiban failed to mention this and only said that the resident lamely answered that he thought they were already admitted. This does not necessarily mean neglect--it can also mean that the resident is paying attention to more urgent matters than a nosebleed first. It doesn't matter whether her father is a pay patient or that they came in the ER first--if someone needs more urgent management than her father in an understaffed ER, her father will naturally not get as much attention.

    I don't think it's fair for Miss Panganiban to character assassinate people by spreading around emails which only show her side of the story. A lot of her comments are even personal attacks and biased views against the poor intern, Miss Ching. If she had problems with how they were treated, it was very, very easy to complain---all hospitals have Chiefs of Clinics whom she can easily talk with. But taking her vendetta on the internet and ruining someone else's reputation by calling her arrogant, walang karapatan (just because she hasn't taken the boards yet), and not suited for the medical field instead of her going to the proper channels doesn't exactly put her in a good light, either. UST Hospital is a university hospital, and if you go there, it is assumed that you know that the first line of doctors who will be looking at you will either be clerks or interns. It makes me wonder if what she said against UST was because of UST's alleged negligence, UST's inability to provide her with VIP treatment because the staff was busy, or because Miss Ching's sosyal appearance just rubbed her the wrong way. I just hope people won't spread this biased email without knowing the other side of the story.

  6. #6
    i posted zimdude's message on the message board in the website for ust med students ( yesterday. i hope any of the ust doctors visiting that site may be able to answer the post.

    nga pala, clarification lang: hindi si zimdude ang nagka-problema sa ust hospital kundi si "mary grace c. panganiban" na nagkakalat nung email. (tama po ba?)

  7. #7

    Post Just like I said ...

    if the persons concerned are convinced that this is an issue of justice or injustice, the court is the proper forum and not the email-boxes of friends and e-bulletin boards.

    I am a Thomasian doctor and it is not fair to think of Santo Tomas University Hospital as such.

  8. #8


    I'm not related to the story, I just copied it from the ateneogenx Yahoo group without any judgments on its content... just for your info... that's why I said at the top of the message, "if you know the different sides of the story."

  9. #9


    tsk.. tsk.. tsk.. unfair talaga sa UST Hospital..

  10. #10


    There are two things that one must realize - mistakes happen in all hospitals and every hospital and medical school has doctors who are self-centered and arrogant. In fact some of the best medical centers in the world have been involved in highly publicized medical errors - Hopkins recently had a young asthmatic die because of sloppy clinical research procedures and Dana Farber (Harvard's Cancer Center) had a patient die some years back because of an error in chemotherapy dosing.

  11. #11
    Son of the 80s Altwegg's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2001
    dito sa kwarto ko


    Originally posted by danielle18
    tsk.. tsk.. tsk.. unfair talaga sa UST Hospital..
    danielle18, you should hear the other side of the story before uttering such amusing statement


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