The Bangsamoro government Health Ministry has expressed hope that the Cotabato Regional Medical Center (CRMC) could get its accreditation as a laboratory facility for coronavirus disease (COVID-19) within this month.
“Pinapanalangin natin na within this month of May ay operational na po yung COVID-19 sub-national lab testing natin,” Health Minister Dr. Saffrullah Dipatuan said.
He said that CRMC is halfway on its accreditation process as a laboratory facility for COVID-19 in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM).
“Nasa stage 3 na sila [CRMC] kung saan undergoing ng training ‘yung mga tauhan nila na magpapatakbo ng testing facility na ito,” Dipatuan said.
He said laboratories for COVID-19 testing must undergo a 5-stage process of accreditation in order to implement full scale testing.
Dipatuan noted that when the Bangsamoro government signed a memorandum of agreement (MOA) with CRMC, “nasa stage 2 po sila doon sa kanilang application for accreditation sa Department of Health (DOH).”
The MOA also states that the CRMC will utilize the fund for the improvement or renovation of its laboratory, salary of contractual laboratory personnel, training of personnel, and other maintenance and other operating expenses.
Dipatuan said the CRMC are still waiting for the medical and laboratory equipment that were already purchased. “Kapag na-setup na ‘yung mga kagamitan, ang susunod jan ay stage 4.”
The Minister said that at the 4th stage, the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM) will send specimen samples to the CRMC for testing to verify the latter’s accuracy level.
On the fifth and final stage, when the results of the samples are confirmed to be accurate, the CRMC laboratory will be officially certified.