Standardised rates for COVID-19 tests imposed in Islamabad

ISLAMABAD: Minister of National Health Services, Regulations and Coordination has announced standardised rates for COVID-19 tests in all private hospitals, laboratories and collection points in Islamabad.
Islamabad Healthcare Regulatory Authority (IHRA) has issued a notification regarding the decision to fix the standard rate for conducting COVID-19 tests. The decision has been made in compliance with the decision of the National Command and Control Centre, the nerve centre handling the coronavirus crisis in the country.
All private hospitals, laboratories and collection centres are thereby directed to freeze the rates of RT-PCR tests at Rs5,500 for tests using the Chinese kit, and Rs6,500 for using the Roche and Abbot kits.
IHRA said that all private hospitals and laboratories will be inspected to ensure compliance with the directive and the healthcare services standard requirement of COVID-19. It said that those found non-compliant will be penalised including deregistration, fine or imprisonment under Islamabad Healthcare Regulation Act, 2018.
It is been observed that many private health facilities were charging exorbitant charges for COVID-19 tests in the federal capital and other parts of the country.
Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting Shibli Faraz has earlier urged the health ministry to take measures to reduce the charges for COVID-19 tests.
Presiding over a meeting of the sub-committee of the parliamentary panel on Wednesday, the minister asked the health ministry to take notice of expensive COVID-19 treatment in the private hospitals and regulate the fee structure of the private health facilities.
He directed the authorities to ensure implementation on standard operating procedures (SOPs) at coronavirus hotspots across the country, adding that no leniency will be tolerated in this regard.
Shibli Faraz had said in a short span of time, the laboratories in the country for coronavirus testing have reached to 129 from two. He said the testing capacity has increased to 50,000 tests daily from initial 472.
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