In a scene similar to an episode in a movie or TV show, a Pinay nurse in Saudi has been suspended from her job after an alleged ‘baby switching’ incident. The poor woman was on her last day of work before she was supposed to go back to the Philippines for a vacation.
Nurse Gina (not her real name) was suspended after officials at a hospital in Jeddah where she works claimed that she was the only one on duty that night and that the babies were switched; thus, the incident could only be blamed on her.
“‘Yun po, sinasabi nila na ako sng may kasalanan, pero hindi naman ako ang nagbigay ng bata. Ako daw ang nagpalit ng bata, hindi naman ako aware na napalit ang bata dahil ang dami ko talagang trabaho. Sampu ang bata at dalawang bagong silang … ang hirap po mag-isa po,” Gina said.
But the nurse said she was not the only on duty that night; there were two of them in the nursery, yet the only other was not implicated in the case.
Photo credit: NBC News
The Pinay nurse was immediately suspended, pending investigation on the case. Hospital officials said that the case might be elevated to the Saudi Ministry of Health. The case came at a very unfortunate time since she was supposed to go home for a vacation in the Philippines the following day.
“Baka raw magpunta ang Ministry of Health at tanungin kung ano ang ginawa nilang aksyon about dun sa case na yun. Kaya pinapirma nila ako na stop work muna ako in the mean time. I-update na lang daw nila ako sa development,” Gina said.
Because more than a month passed with no update on the development of the case, Gina sought the help of rights group Kaagapay ng Bawat OFW who, in turn, referred the problem to the Overseas Workers Welfare Office (OWWA).
It turned out that the mothers decided not to pursue a case against Gina and the hospital, provided that they will be refunded of all their expenses.
Photo credit: Very Well Family
“Ang desisyon sa kanila, hati sila ng ospital dun sa pag-refund, 50-50 sila ng ospital, ang amount na sinabi ay Riyal 10,000 (roughly Php138,874) bawat isa,” said OWWA Welfare Officer James Mendiola.
But the amount is really too big for the OFW.
“Ine-negotiate natin sa ospital. Alam naman natin ang financial capabilities ng worker maliit lang buwanang sahod, at since may pagkukulangan din ang ospital dahil under staff tapos pinapagtrabaho pa siya kahit na nagpasabi na siya na siya ay uuwi,” said Labor Attache Nasser Munder.