A Bacolod pension house owner, concerned about a sick American guest, has been seeking the help of the American Embassy and government authorities to get medical attention for the man.
The guest at the Mainstreet Pension House in Bacolod City, a 72-year-old American refuses to get medical attention, Roberto Jereza said yesterday.
As of yesterday none of the officials from the City Health Office and the Bacolod police, who have gone to the pension house to check on the American, have succeeded in bringing him to the hospital, Jereza said.
CHO officers went to the pension house to assess the health of the American yesterday but could not force him to go to the hospital. They referred the case to the Social Services Department, he said.
The police who also visited the pension house could not convince the Amercian to seek medical help, Jereza added.
Jereza said the American has also refused his offer and that of the Amity Emergency Medical Team to bring him to the hospital.
On Tuesday, Jereza said he was driving out of the pension house garage when a member of his staff informed him that she responded to a voice coming from the room of their American guest, telling her to open the door.
She said she found the guest with half his body on the bed, and both his feet on the floor. He could no longer stand up, Jereza said.
“I instructed our staff to talk to him and call Amity for transportation to the hospital. When I returned at around noon, I was told that the guest chose not to go to the hospital,” he said.
At 2 p.m. the American told the pension house staff that he had decided to go to the hospital, and an Amity ambulance was called but when it arrived the man again refused to leave his room, Jereza said.
Jereza said that when he entered the room of the American there was a strong stench of urine mixed with other bad odors. “The medics were trying to persuade him to go to the hospital but our guest was no longer talking sensibly”, he added.
“He wanted me to get his credit card because he will make an advance payment for 10 days because he is going to stay with Manny Paquiao in the meantime. His thoughts were going in different directions and he would get agitated each time an attempt was made to take him out of the room,” Jereza said.
The medics could not do much, so Jereza said he decided to call the police as their presence might persuade him to go.
The police, however, told him that the standard procedure for a foreign national is to first inform their embassy, he added.
US EMBASSY INFORMED
Jereza said the next day he went to Police Station 6 and was informed that communications had been initiated with the American Embassy in Manila, and to wait for their reply.
On Thursday, a representative from the US embassy spoke to the American but did not give him an update on how the problem will be handled, Jereza said.
“I am left without a clue as for the best way to proceed. My fear is that the situation will worsen and the much-needed medical attention could not be given to the American,” he said.
USE OF FORCE?
“My question really is why can't anyone force a sick person to be taken to a medical facility when it is very apparent that he needs it, but only refuses to do so for reasons of his own? We do not need an expert to evaluate a person who urinates and defecates in bed. Surely he is sick and there is no other way but for him to be in the care of expert medical professionals,” Jereza added.
Jereza said he thanks the Amity volunteers, the police who exhausted all possible means to get the information to the US Embassy, and the c ity health officers who went to the pension house.
“The stench is getting stronger…Maybe our local government can do something to have him brought to a government hospital as he has already become a bio-hazard,” Jereza added.*CPG
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