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DOH releases list of hospitals eyed as future laboratories for COVID-19 testing

The Department of Health on Monday released the list of hospitals being eyed to conduct COVID-19 testing.

The Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM) is capacitating the said hospitals, DOH said.

"As of March 30, 2020 there are 6 laboratories that are in full scale implementation of COVID-19 testing," the DOH also said in a Facebook post.

These are:

  • Research Institute for Tropical Medicine
  • Baguio General Hospital and Medical Center
  • San Lazaro Hospital
  • Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center
  • Southern Philippines Medical Center
  • University of the Philippines-National Institute of Health


Here is the list of hospitals that are being capacitated to conduct COVID-19 testing:

Five stages

The DOH said there are five stages in certifying laboratories for COVID-19 testing.

Currently, 30 hospitals are at Stage 1 or self-assessment stage, where the laboratory will conduct self-assessment using the tool that the RITM provided.

The self-assessment checks on the following:

  • Access to the laboratory
  • Design of the laboratory
  • Use of laboratory safety equipment
  • Administrative control and management
  • Records and documentation
  • Personnel practices and training

Meanwhile, 13 health facilities are at Stage 2 or validation stage, where DOH will conduct an onsite visit to their laboratories to check the correctness of the self-assessment.

At Stage 3, DOH will launch training for the personnel of the applicant hospitals. Right now, there are five health facilities at Stage 3 including the following:

  • Western Visayas Medical Center
  • Bicol Public Health Laboratory
  • Victoriano Luna Hospital
  • St. Luke's Medical Center in Bonifacio Global City in Taguig
  • St. Luke's Medical Center in Quezon City

The DOH only authorizes COVID-19 testing in hospitals that are at the Stage 4 or proficiency testing stage and at the Stage 5 or full scale implementation stage.

At Stage 4, hospitals may already accept COVID-19 samples, but first need to test five positive samples as confirmed by the RITM.

The Lung Center of the Philippines is the only health facility at proficiency testing stage as of posting time.

On Monday, DOH Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said Lung Center of the Philippines will start COVID-19 testing on Tuesday.

St. Luke's Medical Center in Quezon City and Global City, Taguig will soon begin COVID-19 testing too, she added.

When all five positive samples are confirmed by the RITM, the hospital will reach Stage 5 with a certification for COVID-19 testing. —Joviland Rita/KG, GMA News