Palace names hospitals with affordable swab tests

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    MALACAÑANG yesterday identified 15 hospitals that offer affordable swab tests amid a growing demand for real-time reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) tests COVID-19.

    Presidential spokesman Harry Roque said the RT-PCR swab test in these hospitals are cheaper compared to most pirate facilities because some of the equipment used in the processing of the tests, as well as the test kits being used, were donated by the national government.

    Roque said the tests are available between P1,750 and P2,000 compared to other facilities where the rates are double or even higher.

    The Department of Health on Monday said it has asked President Duterte to issue and executive order putting a price cap on the tests which cost from as low as P1,500 to as high as P19,000. The Philippine Health Insurance Corporation provides a COVID-19 testing package of P901 to P3,409.

    Roque said the President might sign an order for a price cap.

    On the 15 hospitals with affordable swab tests, Roque said these are the Philippine Children Medical Center, Dr. Jose N. Rodriguez Memorial Hospital, Jose B. Lingad Memorial General Hospital, Perpetual Help Medical Center, National Kidney and Transplant Institute, and Lung Center of the Philippines, all in Metro Manila.

    He named the others as the Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center, University of Cebu Medical Center, and the Cebu Molecular Laboratory; Baguio General Hospital; Zamboanga City Medical Center; Teresita Jalandoni Provincial General Hospital in Negros Occidental; Western Visayas Medical Center in Iloilo; Eastern Visayas Regional Medical Center; and St. Paul’s Hospital.

    Roque said the rates of the PCR tests are expected to go down eventually as soon as the pool swab tests become available.