DOH: PH testing capacity affected by PhilHealth-Red Cross clash

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The Department of Health admitted that the temporary halting of COVID-19 testing by the Philippine Red Cross for OFWs due to PhilHealth’s exorbitant debt has affected the country’s testing capacity for the virus.

Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said in a briefing that PRC’s testing operations makes up for about 20% of the total capacity of the Philippines.

“‘Pag tiningnan natin ang datos, ang PRC has contributed almost 20 percent of the testing capacity in the country dahil marami silang laboratoryo so noong tumigil ang pagproseso ng specimen from the Philippine Red Cross on our OFWs, nagkaroon ito ng epekto sa ating kapasidad na makapag-test,” Vergeire said.

[When we look at the data, PRC has contributed almost 20 percent of the testing capacity in the country because they have a lot of laboratories. So when they stopped processing specimen of OFWs, this affected our testing capacity.]

The PRC has stopped accepting clients who want to undergo swab testing where the cost will be shouldered by PhilHealth after the agency accumulated a debt of nearly ₱1 billion. The unpaid balances have hampered Red Cross operations, particularly its purchases of additional test kits and equipment.

PhilHealth had made partial payment of P500 million on October 27, and another P100 million Thursday. Red Cross has since resumed its COVID-19 testing services.

House committees to hold hearings during break

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Spread the loveMANILA – The House of Representatives has authorized for its committees to conduct hearings during the five-week congressional break, extending until late April.