Phil. Medical Ass’n criticizes Palace adviser for ‘demeaning’ doctors involved in COVID-19 response

By Analou De Vera

The Philippine Medical Association (PMA) denounced the recent pronouncement of Presidential Adviser for Entrepreneurship Joey Concepcion against doctors over the use of rapid antibody test kits to screen workers for COVID-19.

"It is totally uncalled for and outrightly demeaning to the very people who have labored to address this unseen enemy, the COVID-19," said PMA President Jose Santiago in a statement.

"If the good gentleman is unable to present indisputable data that the Rapid Antibody Test is the correct modality for testing, why resort to such sweeping statement. There is more to science of clinical and epidemiological testing than ranting ignominiously," he added.

Concepcion reacted to a joint statement issued by several medical groups not recommending the use of COVID-19 rapid test kits for returning workers. The medical groups said that "there is still a high incidence of 'false positive' results when these rapid antibody tests are used in an asymptomatic population."

"Problema nitong mga doctor, salita nang salita, wala namang ginagawa. Complain nang complain. Ang mangyayari dito kung magsasarado ulit yung ekonomiya ng Pilipinas, maraming mawawalan ng trabaho ," said Concepcion in a recent public press briefing.

The PMA said that their pronouncement on the use of rapid antibody test kits was based on study and research, adding that they are “not purveyors of fake news.”

“We, the Philippine Medical Association, make recommendations based on reliable and accurate information, guidelines, and research materials that our members have worked on over the last few months,” said Santiago.

“We are all Filipinos and recognize the dire straits our economy might spiral into with yet another lockdown. But that is exactly why we have experts in the economy to look into that and buffer the country into the best possible scenarios...without casting aspersion on each other,” he added.