In Madhya Pradesh, Covid-19 tests to now cost Rs 1980 in private labs
Covid-19 tests in private laboratories in the state have been reduced to Rs 1,980 per test from Rs 2,500. Earlier, the rate was Rs 4,500 per test, as per the health department’s order.Updated: Jul 06, 2020 23:33 IST
The Madhya Pradesh government has fixed the rate for Covid-19 tests in private laboratories in the state at Rs 1,980 per test reduced from Rs 2,500. Earlier, the rate was Rs 4,500 per test, as per the health department’s order.
The order dated July 3, 2020 of the Public Health and Family Welfare department, Madhya Pradesh stated, “In the 20 government hospitals Covid-19 tests are being conducted free of cost. Besides, the test is being carried out in 7 private laboratories approved by NABL (National Accreditation Board for Testing and Calibration Laboratories) and ICMR (Indian Council of Medical Research).”
The order issued by principal secretary, Public Health and Family Welfare Faiz Ahmad Kidwai said, “The maximum rate of Covid-19 tests in private laboratories was fixed at Rs 4,500 as per ICMR’s circular dated March 17, 2020. This rate was later fixed at Rs 2,500 per test as per a letter dated April 24, 2020 issued by commissioner, Health services. Now, given the manufacturing of RT-PCR testing kits in the country itself the rate has been fixed at a maximum of Rs 1980 for people. The rate includes sample collection, packaging and reporting.”
Public health expert Amulya Nidhi said, “We have been demanding for a long time that the rate be reduced considerably so that a common man can afford the expense if he needs it. The state government should implement its order effectively and ensure that the private laboratories don’t realise any other and hidden charge from people in the name of tests.”
Meanwhile, as per a letter written to the Bhopal Memorial Hospital and Research Centre (BMHRC), Bhopal by the director of Bhopal Gas Tragedy and Relief and Rehabilitation department of Madhya Pradesh Basant Kurre the Covid-19 patients affected by Bhopal Gas Tragedy would be referred to the Chirayu Medical College, a private medical college from the hospital when they are taken there.
The letter said the decision was taken as per the instructions given by chief secretary Iqbal Singh Bains.
Welcoming the order, Rachna Dhingra, co-founder of the Bhopal Group of Action and Information, an organisation working for Bhopal Gas Tragedy victims, said, “We had been demanding for a long time for the shifting of the gas tragedy victims affected by Covid-19 to Chirayu Hospital instead of Hamidia Hospital but the government didn’t listen to us and many gas tragedy victims died. The government should also ensure that not only confirmed cases of Covid-19 disease but Covid-19 suspects too should be shifted to the private medical college. At the same time, referral and shifting should be done promptly without any hassles for the patients.”