CANISTER SCANDAL: 90-day suspension of 2 docs, nurse ends
- Helen Flores, Ghio Ong () - September 6, 2008 - 12:00am

Health Undersecretary Alexander Padilla said yesterday the three medical practitioners who were linked to the “canister scandal” at a Cebu hospital were allowed to go back to work after serving the three-month suspension imposed on them by the Department of Health (DOH).

Dr. Philipps Leo Arias, Dr. Joseph Montecillo and nurse Carmenia Sapio reported for duty at the government-run Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center sometime last month.

Padilla said the DOH has already imposed enough sanctions on the three and that the matter is already in the hands of the Ombudsman.

The three were suspended in connection with the videotaping of the rectal surgery on a 39-year-old male patient last January. The footage found its way into YouTube, a video-sharing website.

“The law allows 90 days of preventive suspension. It should not go beyond 90 days. Normally before the 90-day period is over there is already a decision (of the Ombudsman),” Padilla said in Filipino.

“The matter is already in the hands of the Office of the Ombudsman. We are waiting for the decision of the Ombudsman,” he added.

Padilla said the DOH has already adopted several measures to prevent a repeat of the incident, including the installation of closed circuit television cameras inside operating rooms and the banning of cellular phones.

Except for the two clinical instructors, 12 medical practitioners also faced an administrative case for grave misconduct.

ALREADY CARMENIA SAPIO CEBU DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH DR. JOSEPH MONTECILLO DR. PHILIPPS LEO ARIAS HEALTH UNDERSECRETARY ALEXANDER PADILLA OFFICE OF THE OMBUDSMAN OMBUDSMAN PADILLA VICENTE SOTTO MEMORIAL MEDICAL CENTER
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