DOH sets deadline for stem cell therapy accreditation

Manila, Philippines -- Hospitals and health facilities offering stem cell therapy have until August 31 to apply for accreditation from the Department of Health (DoH).

DoH Secretary Enrique T. Ona said a number of hospitals in Metro Manila have already applied for accreditation to perform this "innovative" treatment that has not yet been accepted as standard mode of care in the country since it needs further tests and several more layers of research.

In the first mid-year convention of the Philippine Society for Stem Cell Medicine at the Manila Hotel yesterday, Ona reiterated that stem cell therapy is "the future of medicine."

"Stem cell therapy is not a cure-all medical treatment. Patients have yet to be presented first with standard of treatment, and in many cases, stem cell treatments have to be done in conjunction with other standard modalities of treatment," he said.

The Bureau of Health Facilities and Services (BHFS) of the DoH is accepting the applications for accreditation while a bio-ethics committee and a hospital-based review board will go over the applications and decide on their approval.

Five big hospitals in Metro Manila have already applied for accreditation, said Nick Lutero, chief of the BHFS.

Lutero said initial checks have revealed that these hospitals possess the required equipment needed for the treatment but they would still have to check on requirements set by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in relation to the practice.

Lutero said institutions that are offering stem cell treatments can still perform the procedures pending the approval of applications. However, once formal accreditations are already given, unaccredited institutions should cease offering stem cell therapy.

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DOH sets deadline for stem cell therapy accreditation

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