Consultant quits over DOH chief’s stand on stem cell therapy

Posted: August 15, 2013 at 10:45 pm

By: Jet Villa, InterAksyon.com August 16, 2013 8:24 AM

InterAksyon.com The online news portal of TV5

MANILA, Philippines -- (UPDATE - 10:12 a.m.) A consultant of Secretary Enrique Ona resigned Friday, calling the Health chiefs position that patients undergoing experimental stem cell therapy should pay unacceptable.

Dr. Anthony Leachon, who is in Davao City, said he emailed his resignation letter to Ona.

It is with deep regret that I'm resigning asDepartment of Health consultant for non-communicable diseases effective today (Friday). I have been privileged and honored to be a part of your administration even as a one peso a year consultant. I value our friendship and camaraderie which started years ago, Leachon, vice president of the Philippine College of Physicians and Onas consultant for non-communicable diseases, wrote.

Because his position is directly opposed to Onas, Leachon told the Health secretary, I believe I have lost your trust and confidence and I might not be effective serving the DOH and fighting the PCP and medical societies ' cause in the service of the Filipino patient.

Leachon was Onas consultant for non-communicable diseases since November 2011.

Ang pinaka-hindi ko nagustuhan ay yung sisingilin ang pasyente kahit clinical trial pa lang. Yon ang unacceptable sa akin (What I disagree with most is charging patients even if what they undergo are just clinical trials. That is unacceptable), Leachon said.

His resignation came as the National Health Institute, the research arm for health sciences of the University of the Philippines-Manila, joined the growing opposition to the Health secretarys stand on experimental stem cell therapy.

Leachon, a cardiologist at the Manila Doctors Hospital, called Onas position a complete violation of the Code of Ethics (for doctors) and being the secretary of health, alam niya dapat yon (he should know that). This is not a sign of ignorance, pero siguro may mga taong iba ang sinasabi sa kaniya (but there may be people telling him otherwise).

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Consultant quits over DOH chief's stand on stem cell therapy

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