Gordon eyes reduced COVID testing cost with saliva test
MANILA, Philippines — Senator Richard Gordon is eyeing to reduce the cost of COVID-19 testing using saliva test which, he said, is faster and is 99.9 percent reliable.
Gordon, who serves as the chairman of the Philippine Red Cross (PRC) providing COVID-19 tests, said the PRC is hoping that the Health Technology Assessment Council (HTAC) would soon make a recommendation to the Department of Health in connection with their application to be allowed to conduct saliva test for COVID-19.
“Health Technology Assessment Council ang nag-e-examine. It’s taking them a long time, Oct. 17 pa sinubmit ‘yan at ginagamit na din ‘yan sa ibang bansa [it was submitted and also being used in other countries]. Over one million COVID testing has been done using that, at 99.9% ang accuracy,” Gordon said in a statement.
Gordon explained that the same machines used for RT-PCR testing would also be used without needing the nasal and pharyngeal swab that use test kits.
“Mas madali ito dahil hindi na kailangan ng swab sa ilong at lalamunan. Kailangan lang dumura sa test tube. Mas mabilis din mapa-process at mailalabas ang results [This is faster because it doesn’t need nasal and throat swabbing. It only needs saliva in a test tube. Processing is much easier and the result is faster],” Gordon said.
“Walang machines na bibilhin at matatangal din ang test kits kaya mababawasan din ang presyo ng testing. Hindi mabigat para sa ating mga kababayan na gustong magbayad dahil mas mura. Ganun din ang PhilHealth (Philippine Health Insurance Corporation), bababa ang kanilang gastusin na babayaran sa testing,” the senator added.
(No machines that needs to be purchased and no need for test kits so the price of testing will be much cheaper. No longer a financial burden for our people who want to pay because it is affordable. That is also better for PhilHealth, the agency will pay less for the testing.)
HTAC is an independent advisory body created with the overall role of providing guidance to the DOH and the PhilHealth on the coverage of health interventions and technologies to be funded by the government.
It is mandated to undertake technology appraisals by determining their clinical and economic values in the Philippine healthcare system, with the aim to improve overall health outcomes and ensure fairness, equity, and sustainability of coverage for all Filipino citizens.
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