Friday, April 9, 2010

U.P. Medical Alumni Society on the PGH Director controversy to the U.P. Board of Regents: "Wake up and Smell the coffee."

In what perhaps amounts to one of the strongest messages sent yet to the University of the Philippines (U.P.) Board of Regents (BOR), the University of the Philippines Medical Alumni Society (UPMAS) is asking the BOR to wake up and smell the coffee on the growing public clamor to review and reverse its decision to remove Dr. Jose C. Gonzales as the Director of the Philippine General Hospital (PGH) and to resolve the issue speedily; in the interest of service to the public, including some 500,000 estimated indigent patients who seek treatment at PGH every year.

The Diliman Diary is posting below the actual verbatim statement of UPMAS including the embedded scans of the message (embedded above and below):

University of the Philippines Medical Alumni Society

Message of Concern for the Attention of the Board of Regents of the University of the Philippines from the Board of Directors of the UP Medical Alumni Society (UPMAS)

I. We, the Officers and members of the UP Medical Alumni Society (UPMAS) having carefully studied the circumstances surrounding the election of the Director of the Philippine General Hospital issue this Message of Concern for the following reasons:

A. The effective implementation of the programs of the Philippine General Hospital has been seriously compromised.

B. The confusion generated by the series of questionable election processes carried out by the Board of Regents, since its meeting on December 18, 2009 has not only divided the UP-PGH community, it has hampered the delivery of quality care to the patients as well as the excellent education and training in PGH that have been committed to the students and trainees in all the health professions, now enrolled in UP Manila.
C. The divisiveness that has since prevailed in the hospital community as well as in UP Manila, has created an unhealthy work environment that has caused serious demoralization among all sectors in the Philippine General Hospital, as well as the entire campus.

II. Our study and careful review of the events since December 18, 2009 that has generated for us the above reasons to issue this Message of Concern leads us now to call on the Board of Regents to rectify its actions and reverse its decision of Feb 25, 2010. In doing so, it will clearly show to all sectors of the University and the rest of the country that it truly upholds what the University holds dear: the dignity and self-respect of any individual and this individual's right to due process of the law.
  • We therefore support calls on the University officials to expedite the resolution of the PGH Directorship issue, in a manner that is speedy and just.
III. We are concerned that the inconsistency in the manner by which the Board of Regents has conducted the election of the Director of the Philippine General Hospital this year has put the integrity of the selection process for PGH Director in serious question. In three years' time we will face another PGH Directorship selection process. We do not want a similarly contentious situation to arise which would again polarize the UP-PGH-UPCM and the entire UP Manila community.
  • We support calls for a thorough review of all UP BOR processes to ensure that they are in compliance with existing policies of the University and the country.
  • We support calls for the Board of regents (BOR) to clarify and observe the policies governing the selection of the PGH Director now, and uphold these in the future.
  • We support calls for the BOR to follow the prescribed mechanisms for choosing the Director of the PGH regardless of personalities and pressures from within or outside the University.
  • We support demands for increased transparency in all the transactions of the BOR.
  • We support calls on the BOR to be more participatory, and to truly reflect the sentiments and aspirations of the various sectors of the UP community, who are represented in the BOR, consistent with the University's ideal of excellence and honorable service to the nation.
  • Above all, we would like to continually expect that the BOR express, in all its decisions and actions, what the University holds dear, which is, the recognition and respect of an individual's right to his dignity as a human being and his right to due process.
We, the 2010 Officers and Members of the Board of directors of UPMAS, along with UPCM Alumni, the entire UP Manila - especially the Philippine General Hospital community, are confident that a positive outcome will emerge from this unfortunate situation. We enjoin everyone to continue rendering the superior service Filipinos expect and deserve. We enjoin everyone that as they move forward and continue to be highly competent and compassionate physicians, to also be vigilant, having learned from the lessons gained from this experience.


The 2010 Members of the Board of Directors of UPMAS

(Editors note: To se the actual signatories of this Message of Concern, please click on the third and fourth embedded scans below):

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