‘Ministers to the sick’: Doctor-priest offers services to Pasig health facility amid COVID-19 crisis

March 30, 2020 - 12:44 PM
Order of the Camillian in a hospital
Members of the Order of the Camillians serve in an emergency room of a health facility in Pasig. (Photo from The Camillians via Facebook)

A doctor-priest and some of his companions from a Catholic religious order offered their services to a health facility in Pasig City as the demand for doctors and nurses continue to rise amid the novel coronavirus outbreak.

Reverend Fr. Dan Cancino of the Order of the Camillians—also known as the Ministers to the Sick—and his companions took the initiative to help the frontliners in the emergency room of an unidentified health facility in Pasig City.

Their photos were shared on the Facebook page of Veritas846, a faith-based radio station on Sunday and have since garnered thousands of likes and shares on social media.

Cancino and his companions could be seen wearing personal protective equipment suits with a red cross on their chests as part of the badge of the religious order.

Look: Doctor Priest on Duty! 🚨🏥Naglilingkod ngayon ang isang Doktor na Pari at kanyang mga kasama mula sa Camillians…

Posted by Veritas846.ph on Sunday, March 29, 2020


Their initiative was praised by Filipinos who also sent well-wishes as they embark on their medical service.

“God bless po, sana tularan po natin ang mga pari na handang magbigay serbisyo para sa bayan. Ingat po Father, thank you,” a Facebook user said.

“Go Fathers, we will pray hard for your safety!” another online user wrote.

“In this trying times, love and service for Christ through men is on the minds of our Church leaders and servants, we salute to you Father and companies, thank you and God bless po!” a Filipino likewise commented.

Last week, the Department of Health asked for volunteer medical professionals such as doctors, nurses, nursing assistants and other healthcare workers to join the government’s fight against COVID-19 amid cases of frontliners getting infected by the virus.

DOH’s call initially earned the public’s ire since the volunteers were planned to be given P500 as their daily compensation, an amount deemed not enough for their services.

The health department eventually apologized and said that the amount was based on the previous allowance it supposedly gave to its volunteers “during the past outbreak responses.”

In a social media post, Pasig City Mayor Vico Sotto also called for doctors or nurses who want to work for the city in full or part-time, citing that “city hospitals are nearing saturation point.”

“We need more human resources,” the mayor stressed.

The Philippine Medical Association reported that the country has lost 12 doctors to the viral disease already.

Ministers to the Sick 

Cancino is the executive secretary of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines‘ Episcopal Commission on Health Care.

He previously urged churches to be more careful amid the threat of COVID-19 and told them to regularly change curtains in confessional boxes before the government implemented the community quarantine.

Cancino was also active in establishing the Catholic Church’s role in fighting and preventing human immunodeficiency virus or HIV and AIDS.

He is part of the Order of the Camillians, a religious order dedicated to the care of the sick. It was founded by St. Camillus de Lellis, an Italian priest who eventually became the patron of the sick.

The Order is composed of priests who work in the area for spiritual care of the sick while its brothers provide trained physical care to people with medical ailments.