COVID Testing in the New Normal: Why is it safer to use a private testing clinic?

Updated: Jan 15

The continuous upsurge of active COVID-19 cases in the Philippines is demonstrated by the number of people who have undergone COVID testing has now reached 6,773,628 as of the 31st of December 2020. As a result, hospitals and testing centers are always jam-packed with patients who are uncertain or informed about their health status and very often positive.


The following are reasons why so many people undergo COVID tests:

  • People who show active symptoms of the virus

  • People who were in close contact with a COVID-positive person

  • People who were in an area that is identified as a hotspot or a location with confirmed local transmission.

  • People who have been asked or referred to get secondary testing by their healthcare provider

  • Employees who require testing because of a positive case in their workplace

  • Employees who require a health certificate to work

  • People who need to travel domestically for leisure or work

  • People who want to travel internationally for leisure or work

  • Asymptomatic people who want to ensure they and their families are safe


On one hand, public health providers are defined as, “any healthcare institution that is fully funded by the government and operates solely off of money that is collected from taxpayers to fund healthcare initiatives.” These provide critical access to affordable healthcare for the tens of millions of Filipinos who are unable to afford private healthcare.


Privately-owned healthcare institutions, on the other hand, are funded and operated by a private individual or group, which is normally a corporation. Since they are independently-run, it gives management the flexibility to provide higher levels of service and privacy. They can implement initiatives that are of benefit to their customers without the worry of red tape and they can execute with speed free from bureaucratic processes.


Clinics typically provide non-emergency outpatient care. At International Sanitization and Protection Suppliers (ISPS), our clinic only provides COVID-19 testing which means we are solely specialized in this area and have developed a number of industry-leading protocols to ensure you are safe!


There are huge differences between private and public clinics from settings and service systems to pricing. The following pros and cons explain why you should give serious consideration to why it pays to invest a little more into essential services in the new normal.


Appointments


In public health institutions, COVID-19 patients always fall in the trap of waiting in line for hours before getting tested whether they have an appointment or not. This is a typical feature of public facilities that can only afford to provide low service and long waiting times which have now been exacerbated during the pandemic because of the crush of people seeking to obtain low cost COVID tests. This leads to a dangerous state of affairs for those who are healthy as spending extended amounts of time in enclosed areas will further be detailed.


At ISPS, we have an organized scheduling system that is flexible and convenient for our clients. We have dedicated customer service personnel who are reachable via call, online or at the clinic and are ready to answer questions from testing inquiries to purchasing PPE, or getting a quote for Environmental Disinfection for a business or home. Booking schedules are extremely relevant to minimize customer numbers and avoid contact with other people who may or may not be positive with the virus.


Walk-in appointments are also allowed in ISPS but rest assured, waiting and testing will be safe because social distancing is strictly enforced and we have a setup with dedicated areas to accommodate walk-ins. In addition, our clinic has been specially designed to minimize risk in the following ways.


By design


Prolonged staying in an enclosed space like hospital settings with potential positive patients or remaining in an area with groups of untested people at any time is dangerous in itself because anyone can unknowingly catch the viral disease through contact with airborne droplets, especially the elderly.


According to an article published by the CDC during the outbreak of the 2019 novel coronavirus in Guangzhou, China it was demonstrated that 3 families were exposed to the virus beyond the established safe zone of 1.5 meters due to the air-conditioning within the restaurant. It concluded that the virus transmission in this outbreak was directly attributable to the airflow direction of the air con that carried the droplets across the room. The restaurant was within an air-conditioned, 5-floor building without windows and 10 persons from the 3 families were affected.


The probability of this occurring in a healthcare setting in the public sector within the Philippines is highly likely because of overcrowding on a daily basis. The possibility of more than one positive patient being present as well as people with other sicknesses who visit the hospital increases the chance of exposing others not only to the coronavirus but to other infectious diseases as well.


Vergeire-Dalmacion et al. (2016) cited a study that stated “hospital-acquired infections are a public health problem, especially in developing countries such as the Philippines. Evidence from recent studies has shown association between air movements in buildings, ventilation, and the spread or transmission of infectious diseases, namely tuberculosis, influenza, measles, chickenpox, smallpox, and severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS).”


As for ISPS, the open air and modular design of our clinic is purposely made to make sure we don’t subject our clients to catching various illnesses that may be contracted in indoor spaces. We impose social distancing and provide an isolated waiting area for patients to stay in while waiting for their results.


To further eliminate transmission risks, we maintain hourly disinfection which includes the surrounding areas of the premises. Our testing site also includes a huge parking space that can accommodate vehicle testing.


A discreet protocol is initiated if anyone tests positive. The positive patient will be transferred to an isolated area and a thorough sanitization session for all areas (approximately 30 minutes to 1 hour) will commence to ensure the integrity of the testing area.


For those who cannot come to our headquarters or are too scared to go out, we offer our mobile testing service. This can be beneficial for individuals or private businesses that prefer getting tested at home or someplace else. It also gives a sense of security to clients because it is only exclusive to those who availed the service.


Our mobile testing methods include Rapid Antibody, Rapid Antigen and Real-Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR) and are conducted by a professional doctor or nurse to ensure the safety of our clients. When administering the test, our medical officers wear complete and proper personal protective equipment (PPE) and use the right tools such as testing kits and cotton swabs.


Pricing


The cost of services in public clinics are much lower compared to private clinics, making it the best option for those with a tight budget or for those who do not understand the benefit of using a private testing provider like ISPS; private services sometimes have a higher price range hence attracting more affluent people that sometimes consist of famous personalities and influential people. Having prominent people prefer private over public clinics shows that services in the former are more trusted and reliable compared to the latter.


The Executive Order (EO) No. 118 mandates the Department of Health (DOH) and the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) to determine, formulate, and implement a price range for COVID-19 testing conducted by hospitals, laboratories, and other health establishments and facilities.



In accordance with the joint administrative order, ISPS is under the maximum allowable charge with RT-PCR tests starting at ₱3,900. All test results are interpreted by a doctor and provided with a certificate.


ISPS is the country’s go-to COVID-19 testing provider accredited by all the airline companies, different government agencies, hotels, production houses, and more. We have a license to operate a safe and efficient mass testing service, which serves as the backbone of the global response against SARS-CoV-2.


We are also acknowledged as the market leader for environmental disinfection in the Philippines, having disinfected over 1 million sqm of residential, commercial, and industrial areas since our founding. We are trusted by the national government, local government units, private and public institutions as well as high-profile clients and well-known organizations.


ISPS, in partnership with IATF-EID, the Office of Civil Defense, and the BCDA Group, has been providing daily environmental disinfection services to the nation’s largest and highest-volume quarantine and swabbing facilities namely: Palacio De Maynila, Mall of Asia Arena, Philippine Sports Arena, Amoranto Sports Complex, Pateros, Lakeshore, and Enderun since May 2020.


We are now offering a Travel Pass Package that can bring you to Boracay or Siargao in just 3 days provided that you give us the necessary requirements. You can read more about it here.


You may visit us at our clinic in Manila located at 273 Katipunan Ave., Corner Xavierville Ave., 1105 Quezon City or at our testing site in Central Luzon located at FG Jocson Building, 1st Street, Balibago Angeles City. You can also visit our Facebook page to book a testing appointment.


Contact us today or visit our Facebook for more inquiries:

Phone: 0917 861 3850

Email: info@internationalsps.com

Facebook: International Sanitization and Protection Suppliers - Central Luzon

Sources: