TO DIRECTLY monitor the state of medical technology education in the country, the Commission on Higher Education (Ched) has taken over the accreditation of hospital laboratories used to train medical laboratory science or medical technology interns.

Under Memorandum Order (MO) No. 6 series of 2008, Ched will take the cue from the Department of Health (DOH), with the new order replacing the latter’s Administrative Order (AO) 118-B or the “Rules and Regulations Governing the Accreditation of Clinical Laboratories for Training of Medical Technology Interns.” Experts told the Varsitarian the new scheme would help improve the training of med-tech interns, reduce costs, make sure grades are fair and prepare students for the board exams.

Old order

After 13 years of implementation, AO 118-B, issued in accordance with laws such as the Medical Technology Act of 1969, the Clinical Laboratory Law, and the Blood Bank Law, was scrapped by DOH.

While the DOH will continue to license clinical laboratories, which perform exams in the diagnosis of diseases, the Ched will now decide which facilities are suitable for the training of med-tech interns.

“DOH has realized (that the accreditation for training med-tech interns leans more) on the educational aspect, so considering the technical expertise and mandate, it is proper to entrust the duty to Ched,” said Dr. Leila Florento, president of the Philippine Association of Medical Technologists and member of the Ched’s Technical Committee on Medical Technology Education which formulates policies and guidelines for medical technology education.

“Med-tech internship is a part of the educational curriculum, so what the memorandum states is that clinical laboratories geared in training interns should be initially licensed by DOH, then accreditation from Ched follows,” Florento told the Varsitarian.

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Amended clauses

According to Asst. Prof. Eunilda Estrada, medical technology internship coordinator and former chief med-tech of the UST Hospital’s Out-patient Department, the new policies indicated in the Ched memorandum will make sure interns learn from hands-on training.

“The new guidelines are created to ensure proper implementation of the medical technology internship program and to closely monitor that proper learning and skill-honing is provided to interns,” said Estrada.

The Ched order requires the proper supervision of interns by the med-tech staff, a written training manual and assignment of qualified and full-time clinical instructors, sufficiency of supplies and reagents, presence of functional equipment to allow quality laboratory performance. A regular med-tech staff’s workload must not be passed on to the interns.

The memorandum sets out other policies like conducting regular conferences, orientations, and activity evaluations involving the deans of the institutions and the clinical instructors; and additional payments to be collected for the extension of internship due to absences and demerits, which should not exceed one month.

Estrada also stressed that through the Ched order, the grading of interns will be closely monitored.

“There will be criteria to be established in each hospital laboratory that will serve as basis for grading interns,” she said. This is unlike before when the interns were graded by the staff through face recognition and subjectivity.”

Hands on

The Ched memorandum further discourages hospital laboratories from reducing interns to clerical work, like ordering them to deliver lab results, which results in minimal hands-on training.

Inappropriate hikes in affiliation fees paid to hospitals will be regulated because fees will be strictly checked, Estrada added.

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With the new rules and regulations on training laboratories for med-tech interns, Estrada believes that students would be properly equipped not only with sufficient theoretical knowledge but also practical skills through sufficient laboratory exposure.

“This training would prepare students not only for the board examinations but in working professionally as med-techs here and abroad,” she said, adding that hospitals that will not comply with the new memorandum would not be issued license and accreditation to handle medical technology internship training. Francis James B. Gatdula

1 COMMENT

  1. what if one university in particular Lyceum of batangas did not follow this mandated ruling what will be the penalty of this school. we already made our complain with CHED and the school stand that they are right and they are mandated too!!! hope to hear an answer asap

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