Filipino singer Yeng Constantino is now at the receiving end of netizens’ backlash after she criticized a medical practitioner from the popular beach town Siargao, which many found to be out of line and a form of “doctor-shaming.”
The rant in question was posted on Constantino’s Facebook page on Friday and has since gone viral with 79,000 reactions, 33,000 comments, and 30,000 shares as of this article’s posting. She also talked about what happened in a YouTube vlog which has reached more than 1 million views.
In her Facebook post, she criticized the Dapa Siargao Hospital for allegedly not attending to her husband properly after he sustained a head injury while cliff diving in Sugba Lagoon. The singer complained about the facilities but sparked the ire of netizens for naming the doctor whom Constantino alleged acted indifferent to their situation.
She also posted a photo of the doctor, the OIC Chief of Hospital of Siargao District Hospital, whom she accused of acting without concern and urgency during her husband’s medical emergency.
According to Constantino, her husband, who suffered memory loss, was first brought to a hospital in the town of Del Carmen where his blood pressure was checked and given pain killers and a neck brace. However, the hospital did not have enough facilities and so her husband transferred to the Dapa Siargao Hospital located in a nearby town for further tests.
“I thought, ‘Why is it this way? They should have equipment here because it’s close to tourist attractions with cliff diving that’s prone to accidents,'” she said in Filipino.
She was even more critical of the Dapa Siargao Hospital where she said that what should have been a 1 1/2 hour visit became 3 1/2 hours. Constantino alleged that no one knew how to use the X-ray machine when they arrived and that they had to wait two hours for someone who could. The hospital staff ended up using an ultra-sound machine to check if her husband suffered a fracture or brain hemorrhage.
The singer then alleged that it was only after hospital staff tried to make the X-ray work and did the ultra-sound that a doctor said they had an infrascanner, a machine used to diagnose head injuries quickly.
“All this time while there was tension in the room and she was the only one who was calm and seemed like did not care, they actually had equipment that was needed specifically used for accidents like this. It was like I was going to go crazy,” Constantino said.
She said she could not fathom how the doctor stayed calm while her husband was lying down and could barely open his eyes because of how much his head hurt from the accident.
In her Facebook post, Constantino said that she heard that a lot of people allegedly die in the Dapa Siargao Hospital because of negligence.
“Based on our experience, I’ll likely believe this. If this is true, I hope the local government takes action,” she said.
While some expressed support for Constantino, her post went viral because many thought she was out of line in criticizing the doctor.
“Sorry to hear this. I feel you Yeng Constantino. This is an eye-opener for the government. I fervently hope and pray for the immediate recovery of your husband.
“On the other hand, posting the picture of the doctor and saying below the belt comments on social media is quite degrading. If you have [a] complaint, air it out formally to the authorities.
“Sorry to tell you, this only clearly speaks your kind … RESPECT is the other issue here … even just a little for the individuals whom many consider the unsung heroes; the DOCTORS themselves who devote their lives for the welfare and wellness of all,” Facebook user Gemma Ocon said.
Marie Allexis Campaner had similar thoughts.
“I am so sorry to hear this, the medical field understands your concern for your husband. But if one really wanted true reform or some kind of justice if they felt wronged, they do not need to use their influence to shame anybody on social media even to the extent of posting the picture of the physician.
“There are far more mature options to undertake like writing a letter of complaint to the Chief of Hospital or simply confronting the person. With all due respect that was easier and more respectable than ranting in a 30minute video on social media.”
For Marvi Guidangen Dulnuan, it’s actually the Philippines’ healthcare system that’s to blame.
“I am a doctor too. I hope that by posting this in your FB the intention is to call the attention of the LGU and DOH because this is just a reflection of an entire system that you need to understand; and hopefully, you and the rest of celebrities who may have experienced the same can help by using your influence to lobby for a better health care system. A doctor can only do so much. STOP SHAMING HEALTH CARE WORKERS.”
Twitter user @ArjoDC said there was probably a reason why the doctor seemed calm.
“To everyone, STOP doctor-shaming! We were trained to remain calm in emergency situations so please don’t expect us to panic with you,” he said.
Been reading on the Yeng Constantino issue on FB and Twitter. Doctors can only do so much in an equipment-limited hospital. We don't do miracles.
To everyone, STOP doctor-shaming! We were trained to remain calm in emergency situations so please don't expect us to panic with you.
— Arjo De Castro (@ArjoDC) July 20, 2019
@marklesterrific, on the other hand, called Constantino “entitled” for how she reacted.
“With Yeng Constantino’s recent FB post/rant, she showed how entitled and ignorant she is,” he said.
With Yeng Constantino's recent FB post/rant, pinakita nya lang kung gaano sya ka entitled at walang alam.
No to doctor/heath care professional shaming.
And yes, I am dropping you from the list of singers I kind of like. Attitude over talent.
— romulo sotelo (@marklesterrific) July 19, 2019
Surigao del Norte Congressman Francisco “Bingo” Matugas II, who has jurisdiction over Siargao, has also reacted on the issue. On Saturday, he said that he was “deeply saddened” by the incident and that the government has been working on improving healthcare facilities in Siargao, which has become a very popular tourist destination.
However, in a follow-up post yesterday, Matugas also defended the Dapa Siargao Hospital doctor whom Constantino slammed and said that she was also injured in the controversy.
“She was depicted as an insensitive and uncaring public servant and this is something that I cannot support. While I welcome any constructive criticism that may be hurled against our programs, projects, and governance, I cannot countenance any form of bullying against hardworking public servants,” he said.