Dr. Eric Chua (蔡炳輝) of CKS high school batch 1994 is affiliated with the Chinese General Hospital and Medical Center (崇仁醫院) since 2012, the National Kidney and Transplant Institute since 2012, and the Philippine Heart Center since 2017. He is currently working as an Internist/Nephrologist and also Training Officer of the Nephrology section under the Department of Internal Medicine at the Chinese General Hospital.
During this COVID crisis, his work includes taking care of his maintenance hemodialysis patients who needs to be dialyzed twice or thrice a week, and receiving referrals to be part of the medical team managing critically ill COVID patients in CGHMC and NKTI for both private and charity patients. As a training officer, he prepares the plan to ensure that the Nephrology fellows-in-training are properly protected from virus exposure and that they remain healthy, have enough rest, while continuing to teach them thru online lectures regarding Nephrology. As the assistant head of hemodialysis unit in Philippine Heart Center, he has to boost the morale of their hemodialysis nurses and clerical staff doing daily Hemodialysis treatment, and ensure their safety as well.
He pointed out to some challenges encountered during this COVID crisis, foremost of which is the closure of outpatient clinics. Due to this, he resorted to online consultation and prescription to his OPD patients. He also strictly advised his vulnerable patients, especially those who had kidney transplants, not to go out of their house to prevent them from getting infected.
Having studied at CKS College for 12 years from 1982 to 1994, he always follows the principles of 禮義廉恥 in his practice of medical profession. Applying it to his profession, it means
禮 - Respecting all people regardless of race (Filipino, Chinese, Muslim, Rich or poor).
義 - Doing what is right and what he has sworn for when he became a physician.
廉 - Maintaining his integrity without compromising other people’s health.
恥 - Being ashamed of himself If he committed some mental mistake.
Doc Eric mentioned that he maintains his being a "堂堂的中正人" in every thing he does as a physician and as a mentor to younger doctors in training. He also puts in practice the importance of leadership during these trying times, stepping up to motivate the young doctors in training and protect the other healthcare workers from harm in his own little way. Doc Eric also applies the value of unity (團結心) during these times because he believes it is the key to humanity's survival in this pandemic.
Like other medical practitioners, Eric and his wife, also a doctor, decided to live separately from his 90 year old dad and 80 year old mom and his 2 adorable kids for fear of bringing home the virus from the hospitals. He misses holding his kids, which he avoids doing until such time the curve is flatten and the virus is controlled. His morale also gets down everytime he hears young doctors, fellows, and colleagues die or get infected with COVID-19. Add to that, he admits getting frustrated hearing supoosedly educated people not being able to follow simple ECQ rules, because he knows one simple violation can have detrimental results to other people. He is also worried about the possibility of a second wave and how such will result in wasted effort for the past two months, eventually overwhelming the whole healthcare system.
We gave Doc Eric the opportunity to deliver a short message, to which he said: "We only have one life. If we lose it, we can't get it back. Money and economy can be recovered. It's time for us to be selfless, we, CKS College graduates, should do our best to help the poor and unfortunate people. I am so proud of our alumni‘s effort in helping the city of Manila feed the poor. I consider all healthcare workers as our last line of defense, not as first line, because the best way to beat this invisible enemy is to stop its spread by staying at home. If we can't follow this simple rule, the healthcare system will be overwhelmed. We, doctors, can't take care of everybody. Lastly, I would also like to thank my batchmates and my colleague, Dr. Abbie Sim, for providing us some PPE and masks, your help is highly appreciated. May God bless us all!"
Dr. Eric Chua, you are truly a pride and honor of our alma mater, Chiang Kai Shek College!