After describing her latest initiative as “very doable,” Vice President Leni Robredo called on local government units (LGUs) to replicate the free mobile testing laboratory service that made its trial run in Quezon City on Wednesday, April 14.
The mobile testing laboratory brought with it equipment for chest x-ray and complete blood count, both of which are diagnostic tests used by doctors to determine and confirm the severity of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) and non-COVID illnesses.
“Naisip ko lang po i-share sa n’yo ito. Very doable po siya lalo sa mga LGU na grabe iyong congestion sa mga hospital. Iyong mga pasyente hindi na nila kailangan pumila pa sa mga hospital (I just thought of sharing this with you. It is very doable especially for LGU with high congestion in hospitals. The patients don’t need to line up in the hospital),” Robredo said via Facebook live.
The vice president was present during the trial of this new initiative.
Robredo urged the LGUs, especially those with high COVID-19 transmission rates, to follow the initiative even for just once a week to help patients who need to get a chest x-ray and other tests.
Doctors require COVID-19 suspects with cough and breathing problems to get a chest x-ray because this will show if they developed pneumonia, one of the more severe impacts of the SARS-CoV-2 virus.
“Kami po palagi kaming naghahanap ng alternative kung papaano ba makakatulong tayo sa decongestion ng hospital (We are always looking for alternatives on how to help decongest the hospitals),” Robredo said.
“Ginawa po namin kumuha kami ng isang parang mobile testing lab. Hindi lang testing lab pero yun meron laboratory. Iyong loob po na van na iyon meron siyang x-ray, meron siyang CBC (What we did is we hired a mobile testing lab. It is not just a testing lab, but it has a laboratory. Inside the van, there’s x-ray and for CBC [complete blood count]),” she added.
This is not the first initiative that Robredo spearheaded to help in the decongestion of health care facilities.
Over the past weeks, she launched her office’s free mobile antigen testing and medical teleconsult service to provide medical care to people without access to hospitals and doctors.
Robredo admitted that this program was small in scale compared to the bigger problems of congested health care facilities. But she said if LGUs can replicate the initiative, this will help decrease the pressure from overwhelmed hospitals and health care workers.
She also said lining up in hospitals to wait for laboratory tests can cause virus transmission, a primary reason why her mobile laboratory service was done outdoors for ventilation.
There are also ambulances on standby for the patients.
Right now, although the service remains free, it only works to cater patients referred to by Robredo’s volunteer doctors for the Bayanihan E-Konsulta program.