BAGUIO CITY March 24 – The Baguio General Hospital and Medical Center (BGHMC) urged the public not to discriminate the health workers, especially those that are handling persons under investigation (PUIs) and presumptive Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) cases, because they do not deserve such stigma compared to the risk that they are taking just to save lives.
BGHMC medical center chief Dr. Ricardo Ruñez disclosed that the hospital already received reports from the concerned health workers on the alleged discrimination being done against them and the members of their families considering their handling of the PUIs and presumptive COVID-19 cases which should not be the case.
He pointed out that health workers handling high risk cases such as PUIs and presumptive COVID-19 cases are fully protected when dealing with their patients that is when they go out of the hospital and go home, they will not contaminate their family members and relatives.
The BGHMC official explained that the problem only occurs when there is a break in the personal protective equipment of the health workers but such instances are remote possibilities as the hospital is trying to make sure that the protective equipment of health workers do not have the defects that will expose them to such life-threatening illness.
“We appeal to the public not to discriminate our health workers because it is not worth the sacrifices that they are making just to save the lives of individuals who contract the deadly virus. Our health workers do not deserve such kind of stigma because they are risking their lives for the benefit of the welfare of others,” Dr. Ruñez stressed.
Further, the medical center chief underscored that aside from being provided with the required personal protective equipment, health workers handling high risk cases also underwent the necessary training that allows them to be able to effectively and efficiently handle such cases without being contaminated with the deadly virus that is why it is still safe to mingle with health workers and for them not to be stigmatized.
According to him, the discrimination of health workers is unfair because the stigma against them is not commensurate to the risk of the job that they are doing aside from being exposed to being contaminated with the contagious disease, thus, the public should learn to understand the nature of their job so that they will be able to learn to appreciate the sacrifices being done by the frontliners in confronting the challenges posed by the deadly virus.
Earlier, the BGHMC was designated by the health department as one of the five sub-national testing centers in the country to facilitate the conduct of the initial screening of persons under investigation to reduce the huge backlog of pending tests in the different parts of the country.
Ruñez called on the public to also understand the prioritization being done by the hospital to prevent the influx of individuals wanting to undergo the COVID-19 test considering that the priority will still be those that possess the severe symptoms of the illness and those that have underlying medical conditions to maximize the limited test kits that have been initially provided to the sub-national testing center by the health department.
By Dexter A. See