(dpa) - A Philippine government hospital said Friday it will file administrative charges against three doctors and a nurse over a surgery scandal that has raised concerns over ethical standards of the country's medical community.
The four were among more than a dozen people seen laughing and jeering in an unauthorised video taken during a January 3 operation to remove a 15-centimeter-long canister from a male patient's bottom.
The video of the surgery, which was conducted at the government-run Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center in Cebu City, 585 kilometres south of Manila, has been posted on the popular video-sharing website YouTube.
It was initially thought to be a hoax until the 39-year-old patient surfaced earlier in the week.
Emmanuel Gines, a spokesman for the medical center, said an in-house inquiry found "probable cause" that three doctors and a nurse violated hospital procedure and ethical standards during the January 3 surgery.
"The punishment for the personnel involved can range from suspension to having their licenses revoked if they are found culpable," he said.
Other doctors and nurses shown in the video were merely reprimanded for their behaviour, while one clinical instructor was banned from the hospital.
Rey Melchor Santos, vice president of the Philippine Medical Association, lamented that the controversy has put the country's medical practitioners in a bad light.
"We are supposed to be building up the image of the country's doctors but this is a stain," he said. "We assure everyone that such a behaviour will not be tolerated and we are taking steps to ensure this will not happen again."
The patient, a florist, told a Manila radio station that he plans to file criminal charges against the four personnel identified by the hospital in its probe.
"When I found out about the video on YouTube, I was shocked and felt angry and told myself that I will sue anyone responsible for this," he said.
In the video, the operating room was packed with noisy doctors and nurses laughing and giggling during the procedure. Several were seen holding camera mobile phones and taking pictures of the surgery.
When the doctor pulled out the canister from the patient's rectum, someone shouted, "Baby out!" triggering cheers from the crowd. The doctor even played with the canister, removing its cap and spraying towards the nurses and other doctors.