MANILA – The Department of Justice (DOJ) will crack down on illegal medical clinics operating in the country amid the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) outbreak, its chief said Thursday.
“It seems that clandestine medical clinics catering mostly to foreign nationals have sprouted and have been operating without proper authority. Considering that they are not being supervised by the government, it is possible that the health of people who seek treatment in these illegal facilities is being compromised,” Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra said in a message to reporters.
Guevarra said he would ask the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) and the Bureau of Immigration (BI) to help find these facilities.
“I will, therefore, ask the NBI and BI to help the police in locating other similar underground clinics and the people running them, and if warranted, to file the appropriate charges against them,” he said.
On Tuesday, authorities arrested two Chinese nationals suspected of illegally operating a medical facility for their compatriots with Covid-19 in Makati City.
The two, identified as David Lai and Liao Songhua, were arrested inside the Goldstar Medical Clinic and Pharmacy Corp. in Sampaloc St. in Barangay San Antonio after medical wastes were found leaking from the premises.
Seized from the facility were rapid test kits and other medical paraphernalia worth about PHP5 million.
The two who claimed to be medical doctors failed to show credentials.
Guevarra earlier said two foreign nationals arrested in an earlier raid in an underground hospital in Pampanga should have been brought to the inquest prosecutor instead of being released.
He has asked the NBI to step in and do its own investigation and the BI to look out for them.
The Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) identified the suspects as Hu Ling and Lee Seung Hyun, the supervisor and pharmacist of the facility, respectively.
They were both released on the same day of their arrest.
The “hospital” that was raided on May 19 exclusively treated Chinese workers afflicted with Covid-19.
The villa where the illegal facility was located is under the exclusive control of Shidaikeji Technology Corp. (STC), a “support service company to (a) POGO (Philippine Offshore Gaming Operator).”
Authorities found seven beds, several trash bins full of syringes, medicines, and medical supplies during the raid. (PNA)