• The Star Staff

Labs: Health Dept. doesn’t need pharmacists to test for COVID-19

By John McPhaul


In Puerto Rico enough clinical laboratories and staff exist to meet the demand for tests to detect COVID-19, said the director of Los Robles Clinical Laboratory, Bárbara Surillo, in a radio interview Tuesday.

“The honorable secretary of Health [Lorenzo González Feliciano] is trying to get pharmacists to do the tests [to detect COVID-19],” Surillo said. “When all the COVID started in March and we were ready to do the laboratory tests, he signed an order so that pharmacists with a three-hour course could also do them.”

“At that time, a meeting was held [with the Health secretary] through the Medical Technologists and Laboratory Owners associations in which the different entities told him that there was no need [for pharmacists to do the tests] because in Puerto Rico there are 809 licensed laboratories and [more than] 2,000 licensed medical technologists to do our job,” Surillo added.

All the same, the Health secretary has authorized pharmacists to test for COVID-19.

González Feliciano said in a radio interview that it is “a provision of the federal Department of Health” that allows pharmacists to test for COVID-19.

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