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CA Case Digest
ROGELIO RAMOS and ERLINDA RAMOS vs. CA 380 SCRA 467 Facts: Petitioner Erlinda Ramos was advised to undergo an operation for the removal of her stone in the gall bladder. She was referred to Dr. Hosaka, a surgeon, who agreed to do the operation. The operation was scheduled on June 17, 1985 in the De los Santos Medical Center. Erlinda was admitted to the medical center the day before the operation. On the following day, she was ready for operation as early as 7:30 am. Around 9:30, Dr. Hosaka has not yet arrived. By 10 am, Rogelio wanted to pull out his wife from the operating room. Dr. Hosaka finally arrived at 12:10 pm more than 3 hours of the scheduled operation. Dr. Guiterres tried to intubate Erlinda. The nail beds of Erlinda were bluish discoloration in her left hand. At 3 pm, Erlinda was being wheeled to the Intensive care Unit and stayed there for a month. Since the illfated operation, Erlinda remained in comatose condition until she died. The family of Ramos sued them for damages. Issue: Whether or not there was an employee-employer relationship that existed between the medical center and Drs. Hosaka and Guiterrez. Ruling: Private Hospitals hire, fire and exercise real control over their attending and visiting consultant staff. While consultants are not technically employees, the control exercised, the hiring and the right to terminate consultants fulfill the hallmarks of an employer-employee relationship with the exception of payment of wages. The control test is determining. In applying the four fold test, DLSMC cannot be considered an employer of the respondent doctors. It has been consistently held that in determining whether an employer-employee relationship exists between the parties, the following elements must be present: (1) selection and engagement of services; (2) payment of wages; (3) the power to hire and fire; and (4) the power to control not only the end to be achieved, but the means to be used in reaching such an end. The hospital does not hire consultants but it accredits and grants him the privilege of maintaining a clinic and/or admitting patients. It is the patient who pays the consultants. The hospital cannot dismiss the consultant but he may lose his privileges granted by the hospital. The hospitals obligation is limited to providing the patient with the preferred room accommodation and other things that will ensure that the doctors orders are carried out. The court finds that there is no employer-employee relationship between the doctors and the hospital.