December 7, 2022

The Cordillera now has two molecular laboratories.
The Department of Health’s Health Facilities and Services Regulatory Bureau on Feb. 4 has granted Luis Hora Memorial Regional Hospital (LHMRH) in Bauko, Mountain Province the license to operate its own molecular laboratory.
LHMRH Chief of Hospital Eduard Calpito said the hospital management had to look for several suppliers that can give them the lowest price for the real-time reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction machine, extraction machine, plus other equipment and accessories needed to make the molecular laboratory functional.
After several negotiations with a supplier, the hospital has acquired an RT-PCR machine, extraction machine, and two negative pressure machines with HEPA filter – all using the income of the hospital.
To cut on expense, Calpito said some resources used to build the laboratory are recycled construction materials.
LHMRH has spent around P12 million for the purchase of the RT-PCR and extraction machines, accessories, and construction of its molecular laboratory.
The laboratory was inaugurated October last year but pending the training of pathologists and medical technologists plus evaluation by the DOH, the hospital management had to wait for the issuance of a license to operate first before the lab could operate.
LHMRH also applied for PhilHealth accreditation. If accredited, those who will be tested for the SARS-CoV2 virus will pay a portion of the test while the balance will be paid by PhilHealth.
The laboratory is capable of processing 84 specimens daily. Because of its limited capacity, Calpito said the hospital will only accept specimens from patients classified as “severe” or those exhibiting all symptoms of the Covid-19 infection, and those who are asymptomatic but with co-morbidities.
Calpito said the molecular laboratory will only accept specimens referred from the LHMRH and the six other hospitals in Mountain Province in the meantime.
The LHMRH will start accepting and processing specimens on Feb. 15. – Rimaliza A. Opiña