The 12 private laboratories authorised by the Tamil Nadu government to conduct real time-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) tests for detecting A (H1N1) have fixed Rs.3,000 as fee.

The managements of the laboratories agreed on a uniform rate following a meeting with Health Minister V.S. Vijay on Sunday. Till now, they were charging between Rs.5,000 and Rs.7,000 for the RT-PCR tests.

Request from Minister

The Minister had requested them to bring down the rate in the interest of the public, a release from the Director of Public Health stated.

Apart from government hospitals, these 12 laboratories will conduct the tests. People can send their throat swab samples to these laboratories.

Asked whether the government would monitor the laboratories to ensure they do not overcharge patients, Dr. Vijay told The Hindu there was no need for it since their managements were committed to standardise the rate.

“I told them that government recognition itself was a great gesture and asked them to reduce the fee. They immediately responded positively,” he said.

The laboratories have been asked to send the reports of the test and random samples to the government to ensure that the standard norms prescribed for testing are adhered to. The samples will be forwarded to the King Institute at Guindy, Dr. Vijay said.

Director of Public Health R.T. Porkai Pandian, Director of Medical Education Vamsdhara and senior officials participated in the meeting.

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