In recent days, there has been a story in the press that gives the Philippines a huge black eye.  It taints Bantayan Island, one of my favorite places in the Philippines.  And it leaves me in disbelief.  My head shaking and my skin crawling.

A hospital had a janitor insert a catheter into a patient because they were short on staff!

You’ve got to be kidding me!  The hospital staff had trained him to do this according to press reports.  Now I have no first hand

bantayan island

Bantayaan Island in The Philippines

knowledge.  I’d love for this to be some kind of mistake and that it never happened.

The patient is an employee of the mayor and the procedure went badly.  The man was moved to a hospital in Cebu City because of complications.  The hospital in Cebu City indicated that the procedure was done improperly.

They trained him to do this?  Does that mean he has done it before?  I don’t know.    I see reports and know board certified nurses that can’t get jobs in the Philippines.  So instead they supply the demand with a janitor?

Usually, it is a foreigner doing something stupid in the Philippines.  Giving the rest of us a bad name. This time though its not a foreigner.  This time Filipino are scaring foreigners away.

I don’t believe this happens a lot but I asked myself that question when  I read the story.   How often does this happen?

You can get very good medical care in the Philippines.  It is my impression that Manila has some modern facilities as does Cebu City. Chong Hua Hospital in Cebu is often cites as the best.  Other prefer Cebu Doctors Hospital.  I haven’t spent any time in Manila so I don’t know much about the medical situation there.  Only what I’ve seen on the web and some that looks good to me.

You can save a lot of money by having procedures performed in the Philippines.  Dentistry is very cheap compared to the USA.  Just picking a medical practitioner  out of thin air or the yellow pages in any country is not a very good idea.  Check with the locals or with foreigners living in the Philippines when looking for a doctor or dentist here.   Recently a visitor to this site posted both a negative experience and then a positive experience with a dentist after seeking a referral.

The Philippines is probably going to release a medical tourism visa soon.  The Bureau of Immigration (BI) announced they are drafting regulations for that now.  Filipino are smart people and I don’t have to tell them anything.  They already know.  This however is not going to create confidence in those considering the Philippines as a place to receive medical care.

I love my life in the Philippines.  I think it is a great place to live, especially if you are retired or have limited income that can follow you here.

I’ll continue to follow this story.   I’m usually a forgiving person.   I usually don’t think people should be fired over a single mistake.  I don’t know who was in charge of training the janitor to perform a medical procedure.  It sounds like there was planning involved in this.  A way to save money.   The people responsible for creating this situation should be held accountable.  I don’t think firing is enough.

The mayor in Bantayan, well there are probably several of them since there are several cities, has asked for an investigation.  I hope the governor of Cebu gets involved too.  I will post updates to this story as I find them.  Hopefully some good will come from this coming to light.  My good wishes to the man that had this happen to him.

What are your medical experiences in the Philippines, good and bad?



He wasn’t a hospital janitor as reported by a local daily—he was an “institutional aide.”

So went the Capitol’s clarification about the painful experience in a district hospital in Bantayan Island in which the aide, Arturo Abello, incorrectly attached a catheter to 68-year-old patient Astero Rivera.

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Filed under: Medical Treatment In The Philippines

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