Clinics serving migrant workers rap Ubial at CA

MEDICAL clinics serving Filipino workers bound for Kuwait have asked the Court of Appeals (CA) to junk the indefinite suspension slapped on them by Health Secretary-designate Paulyn Jean B. Rosell-Ubial without the benefit of a formal complaint.

In a 30-page petition for certiorari with prayer for the grant of a temporary restraining order (TRO), Ruben Bartolome MD Clinic Inc., Abakkus Medical Diagnostic Services, Orion Medical & Diagnostic Center and San Marcelino Medical Clinic Co. asked the CA to nullify the preventive suspension order issued by Ubial, Health Undersecretary Mario Villaverde and Assistant Secretary Agnette Peralta.

Ubial, Villaverde and Peralta earlier ordered the four clinics to stop operating.

Through lawyer Edward Martinez, the clinics claimed the suspension order was made arbitrarily and “in blatant and deliberate disregard of existing laws, rules and even the Department of Health’s Rules of Procedure, and in violation of petitioners’ right to due process.”

Martinez said the petitioners were preventively suspended without any formal complaint as required by law but merely on the basis of two resolutions filed in the House of Representatives calling for an inquiry in aid of legislation against the medical clinics.

The twin resolutions accused the clinics of conspiring with Mawared Services and Winston Q8 Certifications Solutions Inc. in creating a monopoly in providing medical services for all migrant workers bound for Kuwait.

This, the DOH officials claimed, violated Republic Act 10022, or the Migrant Workers’ Act.

Martinez said the clinics were suspended because they were listed as the accredited clinics of Winston Q8, which represents the Ministry of Health of Kuwait in the Philippines.

Suspending the operations of these clinics on the basis of two resolutions is illegal and arbitrary, Martinez said.

“The respondents issued the orders even without a formal complaint or charge filed before the Bureau of Health and Facilities Services or the DOH, as required under Administrative Order 2013-0006. No hearing or investigation was likewise conducted prior to the issuance of the said orders. More important, they were made effective upon issuance and for an indefinite period of time,” Martinez added.