Palace directs hospitals to enforce regular COVID-19 testing of workers

Published April 15, 2021, 2:19 PM

by Genalyn Kabiling

Hospitals and other health facilities may be held liable if they don’t implement the mandatory testing of their medical workers for the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), Malacañang said Thursday April 15.

Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque Jr.(CAMILLE ANTE / MANILA BULLETIN FILE PHOTO)
Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque Jr.(CAMILLE ANTE / MANILA BULLETIN FILE PHOTO)

Presidential spokesman Harry Roque said the government is prepared to investigate any complaint on alleged failure of some hospitals to provide such regular testing for their workers.

He noted that the Department of Health has already issued an order on the regular testing of medical frontliners in line with ensuring their safety and protection during the pandemic.

“Mandatory testing ang health workers na regular is provided in a DOH issuance. Kung may paglabag diyan, ipagbigay alam sa DOH at paiimbestigahan natin kung sinong mga health facilities ang hindi nagbibigay ng mandated  na regular testing sa health workers (Mandatory regular testing of health workers is provided in a DOH issuance. If there is a violation, please inform the DOH and we will have it investigated to determine which health facilities are not giving the mandated regular testing of health workers),” he said during a televised press briefing 

“‘Yan ang benepisyo na ibinigay ng gobyerno sa health workers at actionable yan o ibig sabihin pwedeng magkaroon ng pananagutan ang mga ospital na hindi nagpapatupad ‘yan (That is a benefit given by the government to health workers. That is actionable which means the hospitals may be held liable if it does not implement it),” he said.

The latest reminder from the Palace came in the wake of reports that some health workers in hospitals were not regularly tested.

The health department earlier issued a memorandum on te mandatory testing of public and private health care workers (HCWs).

Under the department memo, all public and private hospitals and health facilities, including temporary treatment and monitoring facilities must “ensure the availability of testing services for all their healthcare workers (HCWs) directly catering to or exposed to persons who are classified as suspect, probable, and confirmed COVID-19 cases, with priority given to HCWs who are suspect cases.”

Health authorities have reminded anew hospitals and other health facilities to ensure their medical workers are regularly tested. Health workers are also encouraged to report noncompliant hospitals to the DOH.

Some private hospitals earlier expressed concern that it would cost millions of pesos to get their workers tested every two weeks.