Private Covid tests finally drop, but pressure can’t let up

Ideas

Private Covid tests finally drop, but pressure can’t let up

Thanks to Competition Commission’s intervention, private PCR test costs go down from R850 to R500

Editorial

Sunday’s announcement that the cost of private sector Covid-19 PCR tests was being reduced by about 42% must be welcomed, particularly as the country battles a fourth wave of infection.

The Competition Commission said that an agreement was reached between itself and private laboratories Ampath and Lancet, that saw prices for the PCR test slashed from R850 to R500 with immediate effect. It is a significant reduction that must be met with praise.

The agreement will have a significant impact given the scale of testing. NICD data (https://www.nicd.ac.za/latest-confirmed-cases-of-covid-19-in-south-africa-11-december-2021/) on Saturday night showed since the outbreak of the coronavirus in March 2020, there have been 20,176,391 Covid-19 tests done across SA. Of these, 10,873,656 have been done in the private sector...

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