Columnist Ramon Tulfo cited his job as a journalist concerned about the current state of the country’s health care system to justify the trouble he had caused to the Philippine General Hospital community.
Tulfo ranted on social media against the doctors of the hospital claiming that the patient he rushed there was not given proper medical attention.
His staff recorded the incident then posted it on his official Facebook account.
Tulfo was criticized for disregarding hospital protocol and violating the privacy rights of the patients who were recorded on video without their consent.
Tulfo emphasized in his blog post called “The Symptoms and the Real Disease” that he was trained to “collect evidence” and gather footage of events as members of the press.
“As a journalist, it is my training to collect evidence, be it photographs, documents, or videos. Remember, this is the age of social media; everyone who records events for posterity is a journalist,” he wrote.
He also shared how the incident became an eye-opener for him when he saw patients sleeping on sidewalks and lined up on the hallways.
“Aside from the doctors, I feel that the government should give more funding to the whole healthcare system, particularly the hospitals and medical schools. They should also give more classes in how to respectfully handle people, not just patients, if you know what I mean,” Tulfo said.
The broadcast host did recognize he had an outburst that time, but reasoned out that it was “out of pure concern for the child.”
Tulfo tells how the six-year-old child, who was accompanied by her mother, was already vomiting while they were on their way to the hospital and that she reminded him of his own grandchildren.
The PGH is “one of the best trauma hospitals in the country” that’s why he brought the victim there even if she was hit in Navotas.
Tulfo also reiterated his initial claim that the physician on-duty, identified as Dr. Jayvee Guerrero, whom he was cursing at as seen in the viral clip, failed his job in that situation.
To prove his point, he encouraged the public to do the same video-recording act that he did, this time in other government hospitals as well and only in clandestine.
Mga kababayan ko, kunan n’yo ng video ang mga doktor ng PGH at iba pang gov’t hospitals na arogante at hindi…
Laws violated by Tulfo
What Tulfo is asking of the public violates a number of laws, according to an official from PGH.
University of the Philippines Executive Vice President Teodoro Herbosa explained that taking photos and videos without the subject’s consent primarily violates the Data Privacy Act.
Mga kababayan, huwag niyo pong sundin ang pingagawa ni Ramon Tulfo sa inyo . Illegal po mag video at mag photo sa…
“Kung kayo po ay may reklamo sa pampublikong doktor, nurse o kawani, sumanguni kayo o sumulat sa Director ng hospital,” he advised.
The hospital emergency room is also not a public space, even if the establishment itself is government-funded.
“Emergency room yun eh. Diba pag ganyan, usually kung anu-ano na itsura ng mga tao? Pag emergency, kunwari may na nabaril or nasaksak, minsan nahuhubaran na yun pasyente para i-treat di ba? (It’s an emergency room and sometimes, in emergencies like when someone has been shot or stabbed, sometimes they take the patient’s clothes off for treatment),” Data Privacy Lawyer Cecilia Soria said in an interview with Philstar.com.
Tulfo previously apologized to the patients who got involved in the incident, but stood his ground that the doctors were the ones at fault.
The UP-PGH had already filed an appeal for legal action against Tulfo.
In its statement, it maintained that Tulfo and his team had committed at least six violations for their unnecessary tirade. —Artwork by Uela Altar-Badayos