- Tests will be carried out on samples sent by government only
- Initially, 400 PCR tests to be carried out daily in 4 private hospitals
The Association of Private Hospitals and Nursing Homes (APHNH) in a statement said it would extend all possible assistance to the national operations programme to control the COVID-19 outbreak, in conducting the much-needed PCR tests, to help control the spread of the virus in Sri Lanka.
As such, the medical laboratories of Lanka Hospitals, Asiri Surgical, Nawaloka Hospital and Durdans, the only private healthcare facilities that have the molecular diagnostics capability, will conduct the Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) tests, essentially for the government.
The private hospitals were requested to help the government’s effort in mass testing at an invitation to a high level discussion, chaired by the health minister and attended by the director general of the Health Ministry and Army commander.
This timely public-private partnership (PPP) arrangement will see samples from government quarantine centres and other clusters, suspected of coronavirus-infected patients, sent to the private labs.
Initially, 100 tests will be conducted daily at each of these four labs, complying strictly with the Health Ministry guidelines.
All PCR testing at any of these private hospitals’ diagnostic labs, will be confined to samples sent by the government only and will help ramp up the pace of testing.
APHNH President Dr. Lakith Peiris said his membership is fully compliant with and would go the extra mile in supporting the valiant efforts of the Health Ministry and National Centre for Prevention of COVID-19 Outbreak, in helping to mitigate and contain the spread of the infection.
“We, the private sector, are happy to play a key role in easing the national burden of healthcare in this current pandemic,” noted Dr. Peiris, who added that ramped up testing would certainly help contain the outbreak.
He added that private hospitals are fully geared for patients that have other medical and healthcare needs too, such as surgeries, emergency care, etc., which could reduce the stress for the national hospitals, which are engulfed with treating pandemic patients,” he added.
Dr. Peiris went on to say, “Private hospitals are working 24 x7 in ensuring the level of care that patients expect, while adhering to stringent quality and safety protocols guided by the Health Ministry epidemiology unit and WHO. We have shared all the protocol circulars sent to us by the health authorities with the membership with a request to stringently adhere to all protocols diligently.
Our emergency services plus other outpatient and inpatient clinical facilities will continue to provide the usual services, helping reduce the burden on the government health sector, the focus of which is centred around COVID-19.”