Covid testing at private health centresCharging more than Govt fixed rate ?

    09-Jun-2021
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By Our Staff Reporter
IMPHAL, Jun 8: Even as the State Government has fixed the maximum price for RAT Covid test at private healthcare facilities at Rs 350 per head, many private health care centres are charging more than the rate set by the Government.
Citing various reasons, most private testing centres in the State are still charging Rs 600 and above for the test on the ground that the testing kits were initially procured from the State Health Services at a higher rate while others cited additional charges for procuring PPE and staffs needed for conducting the test.
As such, people coming for the RAT Covid test at private testing centres are often confused though their necessities compel them to pay the charges fixed by the testing centres concerned.
It may be mentioned that the State Health Services had issued an order on May 28, directing private and Government testing centres not to take more than Rs 350 and Rs 160 respectively for the RAT Covid test. However, the order mentioned that the revised rate should be implemented only after the initially procured stocks from the State Health Services are exhausted.
Speaking to The Sangai Express Manipuri Students Federation (MSF) general secretary Hijam Roshan pointed out the loopholes in the issuance of the order and the non-feasibility of its implementation.
He noted that the order issued by the Health Services did not mention any specific date for implementation and it only asked the private health facilities and Government testing centres to implement the same only after the exhaustion of the initially procured RAT testing kits from the State Health Services.  
“It would be difficult to discover how many testing kits were procured initially by the testing facilities and how long it will last as the Health Service did not mention anything about this.”, the MSF general secretary stated.
He continued that the order will not be feasible for implementation unless the Health Service announces a precise date (for implementation) as there is always room for the private testing facilities to charge higher.
Common people or customers coming to get RAT tests in private health facilities can never identify whether the kits are initially or newly procured, he lamented and asserted that the order lacks clarity.