Restiveness Brews at Caraga Regional Hospital as Staff Questions Medical Chief’s Designation

A sort of restiveness seems to be brewing among the medical staff of the Caraga Regional Hospital, in Surigao City as majority of them manifested their opposition to the designation of Dr. Panfilo Jorge M. Tremedal III, a Medical Officer IV of the said hospital to the position as Officer-in-Charge – Chief Medical Professional Staff I.

They are asking for the recall of Dr. Tremedal’s designation to such position through Department Personnel Order No. 2008-3384, dated October 1, 2008; by Health Undersecretary David J. Lozada, Jr. of the DOH Field Implementation Management Office (FIMO).

In a press conference held recently at Surigao City, attended by nine medical staffs of CRH, the group presented to the members of media a copy of their letter to Health Secretary Francisco T. Duque III, through Caraga Center for Health Development Dir. Leonita P. Gorgolon, containing among others their alleged reasons why they opposed Tremedal’s designation.

There were accordingly, twenty three medical staffs out of the thirty-one permanent physicians of the hospital who signed the said letter to Health Secretary Duque dated September 15, 2008. The group claimed that they have the backing of the majority of the medical staff, considering that one was out of the country and three were on leave at the time of signing.

The medical staff then cited in their letter the reasons among others, why Dr. Tremedal is”unqualified” to the position which he is presently holding. Accordingly, Memorandum Circular #3 series of 2001 of the Civil Service Commission re Approved System Ranking Position for Caraga Regional Hospital, States: “An employee may be promoted or transferred to a position which is not more than three(3)salary, pay or job grades higher than the employee’s present position except in very meritorious cases” to which applicant Tremedal being a Medical Officer IV with a salary grade of 20, is barred from being promoted to a position with a salary grade of 25.

Furthermore, they said that during the Special Meeting of the Special Selections and Promotions Board (SPB) held on August 1, 2008 at the Caraga Regional Hospital, Surigao City; which was convened to evaluate the application of Dr. Panfilo Jorge Tremedal III for the aforesaid positon, a Board Resolution No. 008, series of 2008 which was passed showing and elaborating its finding that though Tremedal was the lone applicant for the said position, “he was not qualified and has not meet the minimum requirements.’They added that since no one from among the Medical Staff, even those who have signed waivers to be applicants of the said position were likewise qualified, it was decided through the Resolution of June 16, 2008; passed by the Medical Staff that the CMPS I position shall be rotated from among the Department Heads of the hospital.

They also said that while Dr. Tremedal has been OIC Chief Medical Professional Staff for a year until June 30, 2008, he did not enjoy the trust and confidence of the Medical Staff. According to them, he has not shown the capabilities that would merit their support, and should he be allowed to re-assume the said position, it could result to the demoralizationof the Medical Staff.

Their letter to the health secretary also contained a request for an independent evaluating team from the DOH Central Office, to prove their allegations and to evaluate Dr. Tremedal’s clinical and professional capabilities and look upon his records.

They also alleged earlier in their letter that Tremedal’s designation has been considered for approval, accordingly upon the intercession of some congressmen of the province. Thus, in opposing strongly his appointment, they stressed that “they could not accept the fact that unqualified individuals will be allowed to lead the Medical Staff in the mere i n t e r v e n t i o n of …congressmen, having no picture of what the Medical Staff’s duties and responsibilities are…”

They pointed out that should someone be appointed to be CMPSI, he or she must possess the minimum requirements for the position, follow CSC Memorandum Circular #3 series of 2001 and enjoy the trust and confidence of the Medical Staff where he or she will be mandated to lead.

Meanwhile, Dr. Panfilo Jorge M. Tremedal III, OIC-CMPS I Designate and Chief of the Hospital Emergency Medical Service in a separate interview at his office at the Caraga Regional Hospital, decribed his position as similar to a television game “1 vs. 23.’ He said that he was aware of that September 15, 2008; letter sent to Health Secretary Duque by some of the Medical Staff oppsing his proposed appointment. Howbeit, despite of such correspondence to the honorable secretary, he still got his designation to his present position contained in Department Personnel Order No. 2008-3384, dated October 1, 2008. His main concern now, he said, is to put weight on their priority which is public service. Regarding the issue of qualification, he said that all of them are found wanting. He said that he and the medical staffs who raised it had already met and discussed on the matter among themselves as professionals. He added that they had reached on some form of agreement on addressing the issue. They even already had held a dialogue with the presence of two congressmen and all the issues regarding the problem had been well explained during the forum. He thought, he said that matter had already been settled at that time.

He assured however, with all of these issues going on among themselves which calls for resolution, they will see to it that their services on the said hospital will not be affected. He said that he and the other group are one in following and implementing the standards set forth by the DOH. They will continue to be patient-centered, to work within the system and put primary consideration on the welfare of the public which they are serving.

On the part of the opposing group, they also assured that they had continued on fully performing their routine duties and functions and had placed the welfare of their patients above everything else. Accordingly, they registered their protest by meeting for some few minutes and hanging a streamer calling for the recall of Dr. Tremedal’s designation at the hospital canteen every 4:00 pm. Which they are calling it as their “four ‘o clock habit.” (Noel B. Najarro-Butuan Star)

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