Maharashtra govt slashes charges for Covid-19 tests by pvt labs


Public health minister Rajesh Tope claimed that this is the lowest rate of testing in the Country

The Maharashtra government has slashed the rates of Covid-19 tests conducted by authorised private labs to 50 per cent. The state has fixed Rs 2,200 for collecting the swabs through viral transport media (VTM) from hospitals, while it would cost `2,800 for collection of swab from home. Earlier, the private labs used to charge Rs 4,500 for testing. The decision came following a report of a four-member committee, which was set up by the state government to reduce the prices of the testing kits.

Public health minister Rajesh Tope claimed that this is the lowest rate of testing in the Country. The lowering of rates for the tests would provide relief to the people. Mr Tope said, “The Government Resolution (GR) pertaining to the same has been signed and will be issued by Saturday evening.”

On June 2, a four-member committee was formed as the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) had informed the state government to negotiate with private labs and revise the rates. State Health Assurance Society CEO Sudhakar Shinde headed the committee, which had Joint Director of Directorate of Medical Education and Research Ajay Chandanwale and Grant Government Medical College and Hospital professor Amita Joshi as its members and Health Services director as member secretary.

The kits required for conducting the tests were being imported earlier when the charges of tests at private laboratories were fixed by the ICMR. However, as the kits are being manufactured in the country itself, the ICMR had conveyed to hold talks with the private laboratories and fix the test rates.

The ICMR has allowed 44 government and 36 private laboratories in the state to carry out coronavirus tests. While the tests are free at the government-run laboratories.

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