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PGH condemns Tulfo’s behavior as unacceptable, says he compromised ER services

Any disruption in the medical care of the child bumped by Ramon Tulfo's car was caused by the broadcaster himself, the Philippine General Hospital said.

In a statement issued on Sunday, the PGH refuted Tulfo's claim that the triage doctor in the emergency room refused to treat the child, saying that he was looking out for the privacy of the patient being videotaped.

"We reiterate that at no point was necessary medical intervention withheld from the victim when the child was at the Triage of the ER of PGH," the hospital's statement read.

"If ever there was any disruption in service to the victim it was directly caused by the behavior of Mr. Tulfo," it added.

In a post on his Facebook page on Thursday, Tulfo claimed that a doctor at the PGH refused to give first aid treatment to the child, whom he brought to the hospital on Wednesday after she was bumped by his car.

Tulfo shared a video of the child in the hospital.

"The ER doctor, Jay Guerrero, did not want to give the child first aid treatment, saying he didn't want it recorded on video," Tulfo said in his post.

PGH clarified, however, that the doctor continued to treat the patient but refused to have it captured on video, citing the Data Privacy Law.

"The doctors' strict implementation of the PGH policy prohibiting the video recording of the minor victim is in accordance with the right to privacy of the minor victim and the mother as provided under the Data Privacy Law," PGH said.

"The videotaping was done without the prior written informed consent of the mother," it added.

According to Tulfo's post, his driver hit the child along a "congested" street in Navotas.

He brought the child to the PGH in Manila, 13 kilometers away from where the incident took place—a fact noted by the hospital in its statement.

"We also would like to think that Mr. Tulfo had such high regard for the capabilities of our doctors at PGH that he took the time and effort to transport the victim of the vehicular accident from where the child was actually bumped in Navotas, 13 kilometers away, and brought the patient all the way to Taft Avenue, Manila, where PGH is located," said the PGH.

"This regard is further highlighted by the fact that despite there being multiple health facilities both public and private along the way, his hospital of choice for the victim remained to be PGH," it added.

Looking ahead, the state-owned hospital said it will leave any legal actions to the parties involved, should they deem it necessary.

"As to the legal actions that may be taken by the triage doctor who was merely attempting to perform his duties as an ER doctor and did not deserve to have his reputation and character besmirched, we leave to his discretion," it said.

"The further legal implications of the act of uploading the video in social media, which we maintain is illegal, we leave to the lawyers," it added.

PGH also backed its doctor, saying he was "deeply humiliated" by the incident as curses from Tulfo's camp were directed at him. The hospital said it will stand by the doctor whatever legal steps he may take.

The hospital also said that it strongly condemns Tulfo's behavior as "completely unacceptable and unbecoming especially from a supposedly veteran journalist seeking help for the victim his vehicle had bumped."

Tulfo's actions and "abusive language," the hospital said, "compromised the performance of the ER services of the hospital and the efficiency of the medical personnel. The incident could have been an outright endangerment of the lives of the patients   had there been those in a life or death situation. It was only by the providence of God that there was no such case at that precise moment."

Tulfo defends video

For his part, Tulfo has since posted another statement on his Facebook account, claiming that the child was vomiting on the way to the hospital and needed immediate treatment.

"Habang sinusugod ko ang bata sa PGH ay nagsusuka na ito, tanda, sa palagay ko, ay malubha na ang kanyang kalagayan. Labis akong nabahala," he said.

He also defended the videotaping of the child, as he claimed it would be used for "future legal reference."

"Initially, we planned to record the condition of the child for future legal reference at hindi yung doktor na titingin sana sa bata... But the doctor refused to look over the patient, driving me to get upset," he claimed.

"Kung kayo ang nasa kalagayan ko, mga kaibigan, magagalit din kayo," he said.

Actions by 'influential and powerful people'

The hospital, however, said that Tulfo should apologize for his "disruptions" and "abusive" language.

"In the light of all the facts a public apology from Mr. Tulfo is warranted and a commitment to take down ASAP the video taken at PGH as well as all objectionable related posts," the PGH said.

It added that its statement intends to "forestall similar incidents by influential and powerful people from acting in a similar manner."

"It is the primary purpose of PGH to save lives. It is a difficult and often daunting task especially considering the realities of PGH. In this, our doctors are committed in dedicating their lives. It is our duty to defend against all who attempt to undermine this goal," it said. — Jon Viktor D. Cabuenas/BM, GMA News