OPERATES ONE SHIFT ONLY
THE Pangasinan Molecular Laboratory and Diagnostic Center at the Pangasinan Provincial Hospital in San Carlos City is now in operation but can only process 90 swab samples a day as it has only six medical technologists working on one shift.
Dr. Anna de Guzman, provincial health officer, told the Sangguniang Panlalawigan (SP) during its virtual session on March 22 that because of the big number of swab samples being turned over by public and private hospitals and rural health units daily, the molecular lab was forced to endorse those which it is yet incapable to handle to the Baguio General Hospital and Medical Center (BGHMC).
BGHMC forwards the results of RT-PCR test after 36 hours or one and a half day.
De Guzman said processing of swab samples at the Pangasinan Molecular Lab only takes sixhours but with only six medical technologist doing the processing, they could only finish 90 swab samples per day from patients of the 14 hospitals of the provincial government that are scheduled to be operated on or to be admitted for confinement to find out if they are negative for COVID-19.
Without a negative result in their RT-PCR test, the scheduled surgery cannot proceed.
Dr. De Guzman assured the SP that recruitment is ongoing citing four new recruited medical technologists but would still have to go through the required on-line training at the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM) in Metro Manila and hands-on training at the BGHMC, if available.
She said once the new recruits complete their training, the laboratory will be able to operate on at least two shifts and meet the growing demand for its service.
Fourth District Board Member Jeremy Agerico Rosario, SP chairman on health, reminded De Guzman the objective is to make the molecular lab operational round the clock or 24/7 or three shifts a day, 7 days a week.
Meanwhile, De Guzman laments that the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation has not yet approved its accreditation to enable the laboratory to sustain its operations. (Leonardo Micua)
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