Other States

Four-member committee to submit report on reducing price of tests in Maharashtra

A four-member committee appointed by the State to lower the cost of COVID-19 tests met on Friday to discuss the possible price caps. The committee will be submitting a report in a few days based on which a new price may be fixed. The current cost of the test in private laboratories is ₹4,500.

“There are various aspects that we are looking into. The cost of testing kits, transportation in the cold chain, PPE kits, etc.,” said Dr. Sudhakar Shinde, chief executive officer of the State Health Assurance Society, and member of the panel.

The Indian Council of Medical Research recently informed all States that they could lower the cap on COVID-19 tests as availability of kits is no longer a problem.

While the test is carried out for free at government-run laboratories, its cost has been capped at ₹4,500 in private laboratories.

The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation gets the test done for ₹3,500 when it outsources its samples to private labs. There were media reports that the BMC is looking at capping the cost at ₹2,300 but Dr. Shinde said that the cost has not been worked out as yet.

Additional municipal commissioner Suresh Kakani said they were discussing the pricing but will now wait for the decision by the State-appointed committee. “Instead of working on two different costs, we will most likely go by what the State finalises,” said Mr. Kakani.

Health activists have been demanding a reduction in the cost and a wider roll-out of testing for people. In May, an average of 4,000 tests have been carried out in Mumbai daily even as the number of cases rose rapidly.

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Printable version | May 15, 2021 4:59:12 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/four-member-committee-to-submit-report-on-reducing-price-of-tests-in-maharashtra/article31762203.ece

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