ILOILO CITY, Aug. 7 (PIA) -- The Department of Health reminds the public to use their PhilHealth when availing the Reverse Transcription Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR) test in the health facility.
During the Laging Handa Network Briefing, August 5, anchored by Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) Secretary Martin Andanar, DOH Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said the RT-PCR test is already covered by PhilHealth benefit package.
She said that should a PhilHealth member be required to pay when availing the RT-PCR test, the amount to be paid is very minimal as the same is for the use of other logistics.
"Ang ating RT-PCR test ay covered ng PhilHealth benefit package. Ibig sabihin po, lahat ng magpapa-test ay dapat PhilHealth ang ginagamit natin because all Filipinos now because of the Universal Health Care are automatic members of PhilHealth so 'pag pumunta po sila para magpa-test, hindi po sila dapat magbabayad nung total amount ng test because PhilHealth should pay for that. Kung meron man minsan nasisingil ang ating mga ospital, it's because of the other logistics na ginagamit nila katulad po ng mga PPEs at iba pang gamit pero hindi po malaking pera dapat ang ibinibigay. The test itself and the other process are covered by PhilHealth," Vergeire stressed.
In reply to the question raised by Henry Lumawag of RMN-Iloilo, who was Sec. Andanar's co-anchor during the Aug. 5 program episode, Vergeire said that the duration in the coming out of the COVID results depends on every laboratory.
She said, however, that at present they are having an average turnaround time of 48 to 72 hours among all the DOH licensed laboratories; the delay in the results could be due to the increasing number of tine test.
She also stressed that the test should not be the basis for a person to be tagged as "recovered" and who can be sent home.
"Meron na ho tayong ipinalabas na bagong pamantayan o patakaran kung saan sinasabi po natin diyan, and this is based on evidence and scientific studies, na ang isang tao po kapag nagkaroon siya ng COVID, on the 10th day of his illness basta wala na siyang sintomas, hindi na po siya infectious. 'Yun po ang sinasabi," Vergeire said.
She added "Pangalawa, sinabi rin hindi na kailangan ng repeat test para masabi natin na ang tao ay pwede nang umuwi galing sa kanyang pagkaka-admit sa ospital or sa quarantine facility."
At present, she said, they are using the time-based approached where a person should be certified as clinically recovered as assessed by a physician.
"Halimbawa po nagkaroon ng sakit ang tao, mild siya August 1, noong August 10 wala na siyang sintomas, maaari na po siyang sabihan ng doktor na wala na siyang sintomas ay pwede na siyang umuwi from the hospital or from the temporary treatment and monitoring facility. Pag dating niya sa bahay, kailangan lang niyang magdagdag lang ng apat na araw para makumpleto ang 14 days, so ibig sabihin August 14 ay pwede na po siyang i-tag as recovered; hindi na po kailangan ng tests," she elaborated.
Vergeire, along with Iloilo province League of Municipalities of the Philippines president and San Enrique mayor Mediatrix "Trixie" Fernandez and Iloilo province Sangguniang Kabataan president Ma. Angelica Bianca Rquinto, was among the guests during the Aug. 5 Laging Handa Network Briefing program organized by the Philippine Information Agency. (JBG/PIA6)