No backlog of COVID-19 tests in Makati Med
We categorically deny that Makati Medical Center (MMC) has a backlog of close to 8,000 COVID-19 tests as stated by Manuel L. Quezon III in his column “Shotgun approach puts everyone at risk” (7/1/20).
The information cited by Mr. Quezon from a certain Andrei Diamante based in Australia is erroneous and ludicrous.
We deplore that during these unprecedented and challenging times, a medical institution and its frontliners would be put in a bad light by such misinformation. As of June 14, MMC was one of the top 10 licensed centers doing RT-PCR tests for COVID-19. The MMC molecular laboratory has undertaken 14,558 PCR tests since it was accredited in April 2020 (averaging 250 tests per day). The probable underlying reason is a reporting or encoding error on a daily report obtained by the Department of Health (DOH). This has PREVIOUSLY been clarified and addressed by both MMC and the DOH. The source (Mr. Diamante) must have obtained the erroneous report, not the corrected version.
I have always held Mr. Quezon in high regard because of his insightful columns. In this instance, however, he failed to undertake a very important task incumbent on any responsible journalist—which is a simple source verification. A basic communication with MMC to clarify this matter could have averted the publication of misleading information that puts a hospital’s credibility and reputation on the line.
Saturnino P. Javier, MD,medical director, Makati Medical Center
Ahead of my next column, which will put forward how this came about, I’d like to extend an apology to Makati Med: Subsequent data uphold their assertion they do not have a backlog. MANUEL L. QUEZON III
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