Health Ministry rules out any decision on PCR testing cost

20, May 2020 | nepaltraveller.com

Ministry of Health and Population ruled out the decision of PCR testing cost for COVID-19

The Ministry of Health and Population has ruled out the determination of any cost on PCR testing for coronavirus clarifying the decision was made to provide the service through public health institutions. The ministry's clarification regarding testing cost comes at a time when some media have reported that it involved the cost of Rs 15,000 while testing coronavirus infection through PCR procedure.

Issuing a press release today, Ministry's ICS Coordinator Dr Gunaraj Lohani shared that the decision was made to allow the public health institutions to perform PCR test so as to widen its scope, the cost for the same however has not been stipulated. "Though the ministry would stipulate the cost of the COVID-19 test through PCR procedure, it has not yet been set", he further clarified. "The decision was merely taken to widen the scope of test; matters such as charges, laboratory quality and safety arrangements have yet to be discussed and decided".

It may be noted that the ministry on Tuesday had decided to have the coronavirus tests of interested Nepali and foreign nationals with cost through public health institutions by complying with the standards, confidentiality of the information and regular reporting designated by the National Public Health Laboratory. He has expressed concern over the media report that the private health institutions can provide corona testing service at the rate of Rs 15,000 and subsequent public grievances on the baseless news disseminated by some online media.

Lohani also shared that the arrangement for paid coronavirus test was being made at the request of Nepali and foreign nationals who do not want to waste their time and risk themselves crowding at public hospitals. "It depends on the choice of the people whether to undergo test with or without cost", he said, adding the public health institutions providing tests with cost should meet all the stipulated standards.

So far 35,494 PCR tests and 75,072 RDT tests have been performed in the country. It has until today been done free of cost.

 

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