A doctor and two nurses from different hospitals were charged by the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) for allegedly refusing to admit a pregnant patient who bled to death in another hospital back in April.

NBI National Capital Region director Cesar Bacani said the Far Eastern University Nicanor Reyes Medical Foundation Hospital and the Grace General Hospital refused to admit Katherine Bulatao, 26, who died due to severe blood loss due to birth complications on April 24.

She was brought to seven hospitals and was refused by the first six they visited. Bulatao was declared dead on arrival at the San Jose del Monte General Hospital, the last hospital they visited and the only one that did not refuse to admit her.

The NBI added that a doctor at the FEU Hospital asked for a P30,000 down payment as a precondition to admitting the patient.

Back in April, Bulatao’s husband, Jan Christian, also said the hospital asked for an extra P4,000 as payment for the personal protective equipment to be worn by their medical staff who would be treating his wife.

The NBI said two nurses at Grace General Hospital in San Jose del Monte City, Bulacan allegedly refused to admit the patient because according to them, there was no obstetrician-gynecologist on duty at the hospital. They also did not bother to look for a substitute Ob-Gyne to treat the patient.

Because of these, the NBI filed charges against the doctor and nurses for violating the Anti-Hospital Deposit Law, which prohibits hospitals from refusing and demanding down payment from patients before they are admitted or treated at any medical facility.

Violators could face penalties of up to two years in prison and a fine of up to P300,000 if convicted.

The NBI said that under the same law, if it is proven that it is the hospital’s policy to demand a deposit before admitting a patient, medical officials could face jail time of up to six years and a fine of up to P1 million.

However, in this case, the NBI said they were not able to find any proof that any of the hospitals had this policy of demanding a deposit before admitting any patient.

The NBI said the other hospitals that refused Bulatao were not charged because the medical facilities were running on blood supply and had no rooms available to accommodate Bulatao when she was brought there.

However, the NBI said the FEU Hospital and Grace General Hospital failed to justify why they had to turn the patient away. Rommel F. Lopez