May 12-18, 2011

DRH chief-DOH asec replies to issue on his dual function

Dept. of Health assistant secretary Dr. Romulo Busuego has confirmed that there is one case of an afflicted person having Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) in Tagum City whose record was already reported in the health department’s regional office.
Dr. Busuego bared this information during Thursday’s press conference hosted by the Philippine Obstetrical and Genecological Society, Inc. – Southern Mindanao Chapter at the Davao Regional Hospital conference hall, but he warded off further questions about the case from the Tagum City media saying that it is supposed to be a “confidential” matter.
“Here in Tagum there is one case, meron tayo, pero hindi tayo makakaseguro. That was last year. (The person with AIDS) was not necessarily galing sa Tagum, baka pumunta ditto,” he said.
Asked on what the health authorities did after learning of the AIDS case, he added there is always the problem of knowing the spread of AIDS “as we have no mass screening… unless we donate blood.”
And in gist he said: “hindi mo alam kung babae ba, eh lalake pala” adding that people tend always suspect women as the AIDS carriers.
He also said that in his check Cebu has the highest number of AIDS cases reported while the country as of 2007 report has some 5,000 persons afflicted with AIDS.
In the same forum attended by several mediamen, Busuego was also asked on his current function at the DRH vis-à-vis his DOH appointment as assistant secretary (asec).
He said that he was supposed to be appointed as DOH undersecretary last year but he was “reluctant” to accept the post.
“At the moment I am the chief of hospital (of DRH) and an asec for hospital operations for Visayas and Mindanao. I have an office in Davao,” he said.
“I spend half of my time here (DRH) with the help of the employees and the (hospital) consultants,” he said.
Some quarters have asked about Busuego’s current dual function questioning on whether he could still manage well the DRH which he developed for decades to be a topnotch hospital now when he was already elevated as DOH asec and when he is already attached and immobilized with other function at DOH where his expertise is needed most by greater number of people.
A Valley & City Chronicle source working at the DRH said that he often sees Dr. Busuego at DRH in the middle of the week and “tuloy-tuloy na siya until the weekend.”
The source added that Busuego might have been reporting in his Davao City office in the early days of the week since when he was appointed as a DOH asec late last year. (Rural Urban News/Cha Monforte)

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