Utter neglect and breakdown of the infection control mechanism at a Manila hospital has sadly resulted in the death of more than 50 Filipino babies. The inquiry released on Friday also points to overcrowding as a cause.
The inquiry headed by former health secretary Jaime Galvez-Tan found that the Ospital ng Makati's neo-natal unit had accepted too many patients and this led to poor sanitary procedures.
The Health Department said there were 55 deaths of infants from neo-natal sepsis between January and June with at least 23 deaths in May alone.
The hospital's neo-natal unit was closed due to the illnesses but has since been allowed to reopen.
The spread of the disease "indicates breakdown in infection control, owing largely to the absence of consistent infection control practices," the investigators concluded.
"Given the fact that the hospital is oriented towards service, its management and staff have been inclined to accommodate as many patients as possible," the inquiry said.
"Without realizing it, however, their good intentions somehow compromised the hospital's efficiency because its capacity was often stretched beyond tolerable limits," Galvez-Tan concluded.
Eric Tayag, of the National Epidemiology Center said a parallel investigation by the Health Department had reached similar conclusions.
"We shared the same findings and recommendation with the fact-finding team created by the city government of Makati," Tayag added.
Ospital ng Makati officer-in-charge Doctor Perry Peralta said they have already instituted preventive measures to ensure there will be no repeat of the incident.
As to the liability of the hospital officials, Galvez-Tan said the city legal officer has already issued a memorandum to five high-ranking officials to answer their questions as to why the outbreak was not prevented.
Earlier, Makati Mayor Jejomar Binay said charges would be filed against those found responsible.