BVI News

Medicure refutes Health Ministry’s statements on COVID-19 testing

Medicure Laboratory has refuted several assertions from the Ministry of Health (MOH) whose recent statements the private healthcare facility says discredit its efforts to conduct COVID-19 tests in the BVI.

A July 15 release from the MOH advised that the Dr D Orlando Smith Hospital is the only facility authorised and recognised to conduct PCR and antigen testing in the BVI at this time.

A follow-up release issued the next day said the ministry was working with the management of Eureka to bring their PCR testing capacity online in a “safe and effective manner”. The government’s Acting Chief Medical Officer (CMO) Dr Ronald Georges was further quoted saying the ministry had an initial discussion with Eureka to have the Pan-American Health Organization (PAHO) provide them with “support to ensure that the necessary biosafety and quality aspects are independently verified and are in place prior to the start of testing”.

Medicure said it believes the ministry’s statement’s put Medicure Laboratory and Eureka Medical Clinic in a bad light as the language strongly suggested that both institutions were operating cavalier and irresponsibly.

Medicure Lab further said it now has PCR and rapid antigen capabilities. And contrary to the indirect suggestion in both the government’s press releases, Medicure said both it and Eureka were “acting very responsibly in the rollout of these services”.

According to Medicure, the MOH has never been known to approve or disapprove any laboratory test in BVI and has no publicly known mechanism in place for authorising or recognising any lab for doing PCR or any other form of test.

Medicure said while it respects the responsibility that the MOH has to ensure the health of the public and to control irresponsible and dangerous behaviour, this was not the case in this instance.

We already have good biosafety standards in place

The Lab further contended that it already had the essential requirements in place to qualify at level 2 biosafety standard,  which are the same as the hospital. The private healthcare facility further said it had been advised by a representative from the PAHO on this matter.

“There is no need for PAHOs involvement at this time,” Medicure asserted.

It further said equipment, reagents, and supplies used for doing PCR testing at Medicure Lab are all similar to those at the BVI’s public lab.

“Our in-house technologists have been well trained in the use of these equipment and in the processes and protocols for doing accurate testing,” the release continued.

According to Medicure, it sent representative samples of lab results for validation to the public lab at Dr D Orlando Smith Hospital and to an overseas reference laboratory, and have had good correlation and agreement results with both of these external labs.

Medicure said it welcomed the promised assistance of the CMO and the ministry in getting Caribbean Public Health Agency’s reference lab to review its processes and protocols, and to guide them on the validation process; similar to that done for the public lab.

Copyright 2021 BVI News, Media Expressions Limited. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or distributed.


Disclaimer: BVI News and its affiliated companies are not responsible for the content of comments posted or for anything arising out of use of the comments below or other interaction among the users.

  1. Purple says:

    He can go to any extent for money sake! He wants money not safety ! I wonder how a private lab is permitted to conduct COVID tests? without prior approval!

    Like 13
    Dislike 5
  2. Wow says:

    Somthing is fishy here,if it walks and quacks like a duck guess is a duck. Them sell we out.

    Like 4
    Dislike 2
  3. Well Sah says:

    The BVIHSA fully well knows it needs all the help it can get at this time. Once it’s legit and competent then let it happen. The hospital lab and workers are overwhelmed. Instead of us trying to bring a shadow over another facility we should help them to get it up and running. This is for the people not no politics playing. Geez us Christ man!!

    Like 19
    Dislike 5
  4. SMH says:

    Why can’t Medical Facilities and Clinics with Board certified Doctors, Nurses and Clinicians perform COVID Testing? The Hospital done crying about being short staffed and having to send samples away for results but vex because people have choices as to not visit the Hospital. Come on Boss! Stop with the Shinanigans and get what’s needed to be done in the interest of getting this Virus under control.

    Like 23
    • control says:

      It’s called control. They use their powers to suppress and not to help. If it isnt about them then it shouldn’t be at all. So much people can’t get a test or get test results in time. Them bawling for help with one hand and pushing the help away with the other hand just burning out the staff who able to show up

      Like 11
  5. Stick says:

    Money, money, money. The need becomes a greed.

  6. testing says:

    I wish government will tell the truth in how many people wanted to get tested and couldn’t get a test done. People who tested positive and trying to get retested after 2 weeks being told at the hospital that they only doing testing for travellers. We do not have anything close to the true covid figures because the CEO said that no further need for mass testing, if you have the symptoms you can assume its covid. A medical doctor said this mess. We are a laughing stock and making a mess of everything while looking for praise. Yes it is the first time we are dealing with this and the excuse is understandable.

  7. Art says:

    You can buy Antigen tests on Amazon for a few dollars which are as/more accurate tan PCR. Wake up!

    • to art says:

      We know that home rapid test kits are on the market. However when you have to use the results to travel and provide to employer that you are cleared to return to work it must be an official test result you got to show and not your spit dip stick showing a negative- sign.

  8. lol says:

    greed knows no bounds

Leave a Comment