Dr. Romeo A. Ong of ZCMC doing his best for the city PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 23 February 2016 12:02

Table Talk

BY Mike S Apostol

An issue of alleged malpractice of medicine lodged by a relative of a surgery patient went on the air for many days in Zamboanga City. The issue is about a patient who was allegedly suffering from bulging stomach and has not menstruated for months and the patient mistook it for pregnancy. But upon medical examination, it was some unusual growth in the stomach and it has to be removed by surgery. During surgery, allegedly the surgeon accidentally sliced a part of the patient’s intestine. This was the caused of the patient’s relative to go public and on the air and threatened to sue the surgeon for malpractice, because allegedly the relatives of the patient were requested to sign another waiver for a second surgery, this time for “coliostomy” bypassing the anus for the patient’s waste excretion.

* * * *

Accidents happen anytime, even in surgery where patient’s care is the utmost priority. The risk is always there, this is the main reason that a patient’s waiver is always sought before performing surgery. No physician in his right sense will blatantly commit wrong surgical procedures because physicians took their oaths to protect life.

* * * *

What makes the patient’s relative’s accusation a fantastic allegation, was when he accused the Zamboanga City Medical Center, “only a training hospital” and she continued that “probably the patient was a victim of “practice surgery” by the surgeon”. This is a serious accusation and an insult to an institution that has served the medical needs of the whole Zamboanga Peninsula for at least a century now. The patients relative clearly is innocent and ignorant of medical matters and medical institutions. For the patient’s relatives information, all “stay in” hospitals are somewhat like training hospitals, because medical performance is a continuing study of procedures. Surgeons spent long hours and months in the operating table to learn the complex procedures of slicing the human anatomy before they perform individual surgery and go on their on as surgeons. The relatives of patients who are victims of surgical accidents must not go publicly on the air to accuse a surgeon of malpractice, because the unfortunate incident may have reasons beyond the control of the surgeon that has to be investigated. And Patient’s relatives must not entertain the idea that their sick was made a “guinea pig” for experiment in a laboratory. No hospital for that matter will allow this incident to happen but accidents occur and nobody can say when.

* * * *

Zamboanga City is fortunate to have a government medical center equipped with the most up to date expensive medical equipment and most graduates of medicine come to the Zamboanga City Medical Center (ZCMC) to learn new scientific methods in medicine and even surgery. Hospitals undergo stages in bed capacity and facilities before they are considered a medical center, like a college before it is considered a university. And it is very, very fortunate for Zamboanga City that we have also a training center for doctors of medicines, not all hospitals in the city are considered a medical center and training hospital. Also, before your hospital is considered a “training hospital” you must have “Diplomates” and “Fellows” in your hospital. Many “Diplomates and Fellow” physicians are on private practice. Before patients accuse the Zamboanga City Medical Center as only a “training hospital”, they must first learn the rigid requirements to be considered a training hospital, it is not as easy as what you think. The patient’s relative must apologize for her unreasonable accusations instead a demand for compensation on a surgical accident that nobody wanted to happen

* * * *

Dr. Romeo Arquiza Ong, Medical Director and chief of the Zamboanga City Medical Center, has labored hard  for the Zamboanga General Hospital now the Zamboanga City Medical Center to acquire that status in the medical field. Dr. Ong, to his credit, was responsible on the expansion of bed capacities and modern expensive imported medical facilities now found at the medical center, which has treated hundreds of patients throughout the region. Without those medical facilities, patients should be treated in Cebu or Manila which is very expensive for a poor patient. Patients should not doubt our medical practitioners at the Zamboanga City Medical Center because except for a few Doctors of Medicines, most of our medical practitioners in other hospital came and were trained at the Zamboanga City Medical Center.

* * * *

Scoop: Next time patients should “look before they leap” so no one will get hurt and embarrassed because nobody has the monopoly of virtues. And remember nobody is safe from accidents because even a “carabao with four feet sometimes slips on the road”. Agree or disagree.