Oriental Mindoro doctor sacked for baby’s death

MANILA—A doctor from the Oriental Mindoro Provincial Hospital was ordered dismissed by the Office of the Ombudsman for “failing to attend” to a patient who was giving birth, resulting in the death of the woman’s baby.

Ombudsman Ma. Merceditas Gutierrez found Dr. Idol Bondoc guilty of grave misconduct and ordered the accessory penalties of cancellation of eligibility, forfeiture of retirement benefits, and perpetual disqualification for reemployment in government service.

Marilou Rala Mantala in her complaint said that she was admitted to the Calapan City-based government hospital at around 9 a.m. on April 3, 2009 to deliver her fifth child. Bondoc was her attending physician.

In the hospital, she was stretched out in a cot while her legs were tied. Bondoc instructed his assistants, and afterwards left her alone in the delivery room. He returned only at around 4 p.m. and asked her, “Hindi ka pa nanganganak?”

The attendants then collectively pressed hard on her tummy to induce delivery. She finally gave birth, and passed out because of the pain. When Mantala regained consciousness, the attending nurse informed her that her ovary was cut and that her child died.

Mantala also claimed that she was discharged from the hospital although she still had a cough and the thread in her incise wound had yet to be fixed.

As the wound would not heal, she was brought again to the provincial hospital for a blood transfusion and to cleanse her wound.

It was allegedly during Mantala’s second confinement that Bondoc told her “Ikaw ay sadyang ayaw magpa-CS (Caesarian Section).” She also said that she heard him say to a nurse, “Huwag sana akong idemanda ni Mantala kasi kaya ko siyang baliktarin.”

Gutierrez ruled that “while herein respondent was assigned at that particular time by the hospital to be in charge of the patients in the delivery room, he practically delegated his responsibility to the midwives. Such attitude exemplified capriciousness in performing his duties.”

The Ombudsman further observed that “the statements of the respondent ‘Ikaw ay sadyang ayaw magpa-CS’ and ‘Huwag sana akong idemanda ni Mantala kasi kaya ko siyang baliktarin,’ are strong implications of the respondent’s wrongful behavior in which he failed to refute in this case.”

Gutierrez threw out Bondoc’s argument that the administrative case against him was rendered moot and academic by his resignation as Medical Officer of the Oriental Mindoro Provincial Hospital.

Quoting the Administrative Adjudication Ombudsman Desk Reference, the Ombudsman said that “the separation of the employee subject of an administrative complaint from Government service does not automatically warrant a dismissal of the case, especially if there are accessory penalties [imposed] upon the respondent in case of a finding of guilt, such as forfeiture of retirement benefits or the imposition of a fine.”

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