Tseung Kwan O Hospital in the New Territories. Many Hong Kong hospitals had a shortage of beds for those with the flu. Photo: Wikimedia Commons

The Philippine Consulate and the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) have refuted a Facebook post that suggested employer negligence played a role in the death of a Filipina domestic worker, who passed away in hospital on Sunday.

Josephine Kimmayong, 32, a mother of four from La Union, had stomach cancer and died 10 days after being admitted to Tsueng Kwan O Hospital, sunwebhk.com reported.

Kimmayong worked for her Chinese employers in Corinthian by the Sea in Tseung Kwan O for only one year. According to a Facebook post by Mel Santiago, who said she lives in the same building, Kimmayong had complained about a persistent pain in her belly and chest weeks before she went to hospital. Santiago claimed Kimmayong had told her employers about her problem, but was ignored.

Santiago asked for Kimmayong’s employer to be investigated, claiming the deceased was not taken for medical treatment despite complaining for weeks about how ill she felt. She offered to testify in any investigation.

But Philippine government officers said there were medical reports that indicated Kimmayong had undergone check-ups before being admitted to hospital. Kimmayong’s cousin also refuted the claim, saying family members were united in saying that the employer had done no wrong.

The employer offered to let Kimmayong’s husband come to Hong Kong and visit his wife in hospital, but she passed away before arrangements could be made.

The husband was instead asked to prepare a letter of acceptance in preparation for the repatriation of the remains, which could take place by November 30 if clearance was obtained from the Coroner’s Court before that date. The employer’s insurance will pay for the repatriation.

Consul Paul Saret, head of the PCG-Assistance to Nationals Section, said the worker was confined at hospital and discovered after a battery of tests that she had Stage 4 colon cancer which had metastasized to her lungs, hongkongnews.com.hk reported.

Saret said the consulate was helping the worker’s family get their benefits from the OWWA.

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