Tulfo to PGH: 'I will not apologize'

MANILA, Philippines – Broadcaster and columnist Ramon Tulfo said on Monday, August 20 that he will not apologize to the Philippine General Hospital (PGH) or its Emergency Room doctor for his behavior that disrupted operations in the hospital last Wednesday, August 15.

“I’m not going to make an apology, I’ll make an apology for my outburst but I will not apologize to the doctor of PGH,” Tulfo told Rappler in a phone call.

PGH earlier demanded a public apology from Tulfo for his “unacceptable and unbecoming” behavior which could have endangered the life of patients in the emergency room.

Tulfo maintained he was only concerned for the 6-year-old child whom his vehicle had hit while it was navigating a congested street in Navotas. He said he and his team were on their way to an Isumbong kay Tulfo engagement when the child had come out of nowhere, causing his driver to accidentally hit the young girl.

“I’m sorry for my outburst but I’m not going to apologize to the doctor and the hospital. I made my point clear, I was concerned for the child… I’m apologizing for my outburst that was uncalled for,” Tulfo said.

What video? In a video posted on social media, Tulfo is overheard hurling expletives at the ER doctor as he demanded priority for the 6-year-old girl his driver accidentally bumped.

Tulfo told Rappler this was the case as he was “frantic and in a panic” since the child had vommitted on the way to PGH. He said consulted his colleagues who are doctors, who replied the child may not be in "good shape."

Faculty members and professional staff of the University of the Philippines in Manila earlier slammed Tulfo for not following the “Triage” – or the assignment of degrees of urgency to injuries or illnesses to determine the order of treatment among a large number of patients who need medical attention.

Tulfo also said he rushed the victim to PGH in Manila instead of other nearby health facilities, as some netizens have pointed out, because he was familiar with PGH. He said he's “a stranger to Navotas.”

No taking down: PGH had also requested that Tulfo take down the video his staff took of his “PGH experience” as it is illegal. The hospital said the video violated the patient’s right to privacy under the Data Privacy Act and the Code of Ethics of Media Practitioners as the face of the victim was displayed publicly without consent.

Asked if he would remove the video on social media, Tulfo again refused and said the video will remain online “as a point of discussion.”

“No, I won’t take down the video. I want this to be a point of discussion. I will apologize for my outburst but I won’t take down the video, not in a million years,” Tulfo said.

Tulfo also maintained that the ER doctor refused to administer treatment to the patient. He said he posted the video despite PGH Director Dr Gerardo Legaspi’s request not to do so because no apology was made by the ER doctor after he demanded for one.

PGH denied Tulfo’s claim that they refused treatment. They said ”at no point" was necessary medical intervention withheld from the victim when at the ER.

"If ever there was any disruption in service to the victim, it was directly caused by the behavior of Mr Tulfo," PGH said. – Rappler.com

Sofia Tomacruz

Sofia Tomacruz covers foreign affairs, the overseas Filipino workers, and elections. She also writes stories on the treatment of women and children. Follow her on Twitter @sofiatomacruz. Email her at sofia.tomacruz@rappler.com.

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