While the COVID test kits are available for as low as Rs 200 the RT-PCR test capping in Goa at Rs 4500 is the highest in the country. According to the reports, the COVID-19 test costing Rs 4500/- in the private Laboratories makes Goa the most expensive in the country.
According to the report published in the local daily Herald, After Delhi, Rajasthan, and Gujarat, the Goa government is examining the possibility of capping the rates of RT-PCR diagnostic tests for COVID-19 infection, conducted by private laboratories. Currently, private labs are charging Rs 4,500 per test, while in government hospitals an individual has to shell out Rs 2,000 if the test is for the purpose of travel.
The report suggests that the same test costs Rs 2000 at the Government facilities in the state which still makes it 10 times the cost of the Covid-19 test Kits.
Although Goa has the lowest numbers of the Covid-19 positive cases but due to the Maharashtra Government making the RT-PCR test mandatory for the people traveling from Goa to Maharashtra the demand for the tests have gone up substantially during the past one week.
Meanwhile for some unknown reasons the GMC (Goa Medical College) has stopped conducting the RT-PCR tests and for those who need to do the tests has only two options left, first either travel to South or North and get the test done at Rs 2000 at Goa District Hospitals or pay hefty charges of Rs 4500 to the private laboratories situated in around the capital city for the same test.
Meanwhile for some unknown reasons the GMC (Goa Medical College) has stopped conducting the RT-PCR tests.
The health secretary of Goa Amita Satija told the media that the state Government is assessing the demands from the people for capping the test rates, which means more the demand lower the rates, “We are looking into the matter,” he said.
A highly-placed official informed Herald that the rates in Goa are the highest in the country. “The private labs in Goa, as well as the State government, are still going as per the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) price cap of Rs 4,500 for the tests. Whereas, ICMR in May asked States to regulate it by negotiating with the private labs,” the official said.
The health secretary of Goa Amita Satija told the media that the state Government is assessing the demands from the people for capping the test rates.
Meanwhile, the cost of the RT-PCR test has come under the scanner of the Supreme Court, which is hearing a plea seeking directions to cap the cost at Rs 400 across the country. The Apex Court, last week issued a notice to the Centre and States seeking their reply in two weeks.
The source said the rates of testing kits have fallen lately making testing much cheaper than before for the labs. “As per the petitioner in Supreme Court, the kits are available at a price of Rs 200,” the source said.
(with the inputs from Herald)