Cardinal Santos Medical Center inaugurates molecular laboratory

Cardinal Santos Medical Center has formally opened its molecular laboratory earlier this month, enabling the hospital to conduct reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) tests that determine if a patient is infected with the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

The molecular laboratory will enable CSMC to test outpatients and patients confined in the hospital for COVID-19 and release results quicker than before.

“Having our own molecular lab will improve our disposition and management of patients,” said Dr. Marichu Catan, CSMC vice president and head of Business Planning and Development Division.

“The directive of the [Department of Health] is to increase our capacity to test, and this Molecular Laboratory fulfills our commitment to respond to this,” added Dr. Monserrat Velasquez, CSMC assistant vice president and Head of Ancillary Services.

The laboratory will also directly benefit the frontliners of CSMC.

“This is a testament to our commitment to compassionate care not only for our patients needing RT-PCR testing but also for our healthcare workers and professionals who are at the frontlines of the battle against COVID-19” Velasquez added.

The laboratory has the capacity to process 150 to 180 test samples per day, but this can be ramped up if the need arises.

With state-of-the-art equipment, the laboratory is envisioned to be able to provide other services by next year, including molecular testing for the translocation of certain tumors; identification of various cancer markers for personalized cancer treatments; and Hepatitis B Virus (HBV) DNA monitoring.

“The Molecular Laboratory is a response of Cardinal Santos to its commitment to be a complete diagnostic facility. Our Molecular Laboratory is designed not only for COVID, in the future we are also looking at being a referral center. We envision it to be a center for excellence, a facility that touts the highest attainable quality in existing and innovative laboratory procedures,” said Dr. Paulo Mendoza, Head of Pathology and Laboratory Services of CSMC.

For patients who may want to undergo RT-PCR swab testing, CSMC accepts walk-in patients but strongly encourages interested parties to book an appointment by logging on to

To ensure the safety of patients, the RT PCR swabbing station is located at the ground floor level of its Steel Parking 1.

The swabbing station is open Monday to Friday from 7 a.m. to 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. from Monday to Friday. It also opens from 7 a.m. to 11 a.m. every Saturday.

CSMC also implements strict social distancing measures and conducts thorough disinfection and sanitization after each test. 

Topics: Cardinal Santos Medical Center , COVID-19 , RT-PCR , Swab testing , Monserrat Velasquez
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