No Health Card, No CT Scan at St. Luke’s Medical Center QC

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  • September 6, 2015

My family hardly ever calls with good news. So when my brother Coco’s name flashed on my phone’s screen this morning, I braced myself.

He said he was with mom and they were on their way to St. Luke’s Medical Center – Quezon City. Our youngest brother Toto had called a few minutes ago, informing him that he had gotten into an accident. “Jeep daw. Durog daw yung bike,” he relayed.

I rushed out of the house with only that information. Okay, no, I didn’t rush. Because I couldn’t. For some reason I couldn’t figure out what I was supposed to do next. Do I take a bath or put on my clothes? Which comes first?

I bought some burgers to bring to the hospital and left McDonald’s without getting my change.

I passed by the fuel station too, dropped my water bottle at some point, accidentally banged my hand on the car door at another.

I don’t deal with emergencies very well. With people getting hurt, getting sick — especially if they’re friends or family.

I knew I had to be at the hospital but I didn’t want to see Toto, I didn’t want to know if he was badly hurt.

When I finally made it outside the Emergency Room (I’d faint if I go in), I was greeted by a seething Coco. He went on to report how uncooperative the ER doctor was. The doctor wasn’t accommodating at all. He was very defensive when Coco started asking about Toto’s condition and the procedures to be done. “Hindi pa ba sinabi sa inyo ng pasyente?”.

Toto wasn’t wearing a helmet (#BigMistake, I know) and hit his head on a jeep. He chipped a tooth, got a bump on his head, lacerations behind his ear that required stitches plus bruises and scratches on his neck. He also complained of jaw pain.

So ER doctor ordered a jaw x-ray.

When Coco asked what other tests were necessary, doctor snapped “ikaw, ano pa ang gusto mo?”

So Coco asked what else was needed to make sure that there were no internal injuries. ER doctor said that in a case like Toto’s, a CT scan is usually ordered but since Toto didn’t have a health card, ER doctor decided to skip the CT scan.

Now that sounded awfully wrong.

Just take the risk because the patient doesn’t have a health card? And what, because he was in a t-shirt and shorts and he didn’t look like someone who could possibly have P8,800 for his CT scan stashed somewhere?

So what if Toto didn’t have a health card? So what if he looked like he can’t afford it? Shouldn’t we at least be informed about our options?

The ER doctor didn’t even check if he can pay for a CT scan!

What if Coco didn’t ask about other procedures necessary? So we wouldn’t have known that usually a CT scan is ordered?

I need to understand this please.

By the way, I still don’t know the ER doctor’s name because on the two occasions that Coco asked the nurses, they refused to reveal his name. Strange, isn’t it? I believe the name is written in one of the documents that Toto went home with but I wasn’t able to take a look. I will find out tomorrow.

This just in… I finally got the name. It’s Peter Flores Quilala. Unfortunately, we have no record of the names of the nurses but I guess that can be traced by the hospital… IF they want to.

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