Public hospitals run by the Rizal provincial government in the Philippines have announced plans to purchase non-mercurial thermometers and sphygmomanometers as part of a plan to gradually phase out medical devices containing mercury.

The procurement of non-mercurial apparatus for five government hospitals was announced by Rizal Governor Casimiro “Jun” Ynares III after four government-run Philippine hospitals were found to be using mercury-containing medical devices, despite World Health Organization (WHO) warnings.

The Rizal Provincial Hospital in Morong; Angono General Hospital in Angono; Pililla Medical Hospital in Pililla; Ynares Municipal Hospital in Binangonan and the Antipolo District Hospital in Antipolo City were all found to be using mercury devices.

The provincial health office maintenance and operating expenses will fund the purchase of the required non-mercurial devices, officials said.

Hospitals will also be asked to strictly follow the guidelines on how the gradual phase out of mercurial devices will be carried out.

The Department of Health Administrative Order 21 mandates the gradual phase-out of mercury in all Philippine healthcare facilities and institutions by 11 September 2010, according to