Nepal | October 31, 2020

Private labs get ultimatum to cut PCR test fee

Sabitri Dhakal
Share Now:


The Ministry of Health and Population has given a 24-hour ultimatum to private hospitals and laboratories to bring down the fee for polymerase chain reaction test to Rs 2,000 per test in line with the rate fixed by the government.

“In case they fail to do so, the permission given to them to conduct the test will be scrapped,” said Jageshwor Gautam, spokesperson for the Ministry of Health and Population, today.

Eight private hospitals and laboratories, including HAMS Hospital, Star Hospital, B&B Hospital and Nepal Mediciti Hospital had issued a press statement on September 27 saying that they would be charging Rs 3,899 for a PCR test.

Earlier on September 14, the government had decided to decrease the fee for PCR test that diagnoses COVID-19 to Rs 2,000 from Rs 4,400.

The Health Emergency Operation Centre had issued a directive to all the laboratories conducting PCR test to charge Rs 2,000 per test as per the decision taken by the Incident Command System meetings held in the presence of Minister of Health and Population, Bhanubhakta Dhakal on September 14.

On August 31, the government had slashed the fee for PCR tests to Rs 4,400 from Rs 5,500.

According to Gautam, the Incident Command System of the Ministry of Health and Population had decided that labs charging fee in excess of what the government had fixed should be warned before directing National Public Health Laboratory to scrap the permission given to them to conduct test.

In case the errant labs fail to bring down the fee even after that the Ministry of Home Affairs and Department of Commerce, Supply and Consumer Protection Management will be asked to take action against them on the charge of black marketing.

Jyotindra Sharma, executive director at HAMS Hospital, said they would not abide by the government ultimatum, adding that the fee fixed by the government was not reasonable.

“Private hospitals and laboratories have to bear additional cost that government hospitals don’t have to,” added Sharma.

“As the health ministry has told us to decrease the price of the PCR test, all the laboratories and hospitals’ management should sit and discuss the issue and come up with a solution,” said Sharma.

Four other labs that are charging Rs 3,899 are also based in Kathmandu valley. They are: Intrepid Diagnostic Centre, Decode Genomics and Research Centre, Central Diagnostic Laboratory and Research Centre and Saurya Healthcare Private Ltd.

A version of this article appears in print on October 01, 2020 of The Himalayan Times.

Follow The Himalayan Times on Twitter and Facebook

Recommended Stories:

More from The Himalayan Times:

Bandipur: Ideal destination to explore natural beauty, cultural heritage

KATHMANDU: Had Covid-19 not been prevalent, people from around the world would have visited Bandipur, also known as 'Queen of Hills' in Tanahun district, during the 'Visit Nepal 2020' campaign. Nestled in the foothills, Bandipur is one of the oldest settlements of ethic Newari community. Tour Read More...

Nepal COVID-19 Update: 3517 new cases, 4096 recoveries, 16 fatalities recorded today

KATHMANDU: Nepal’s Health Ministry, in its regular press briefing, shared the latest updates on coronavirus contagion from across the country, and government’s response to the health crisis. Till date,1,434,053 tests through Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) method have been carried out, of wh Read More...

Arsenal cruise to 3-0 Europa League win over Dundalk

LONDON: A flurry of goals either side of halftime from Eddie Nketiah, Joe Willock and Nicolas Pepe gave Arsenal a comfortable 3-0 Europa League win over Irish side Dundalk on Thursday that puts them top of their group after two games. The 2019 League of Ireland champions defended bravel Read More...

Antwerp upset Spurs to go top of Europa League group, Milan win again

ANTWERP:  Belgian league leaders Antwerp secured a shock 1-0 win over Tottenham Hotspur and AC Milan extended their unbeaten run to 23 games as they won 3-0 against Sparta Prague in the Europa League on Thursday, while Arsenal cruised to a 3-0 win over Dundalk. Veteran striker Lior Ref Read More...

Thwart US veto or await new president? WTO has leadership dilemma

BRUSSELS/WASHINGTON: Faced with a veto from the United States, the World Trade Organization has two unpalatable options for selecting its next leader - override its biggest paymaster with a vote or hope for a change of US president and wait until he takes charge. With just days to go before t Read More...

New Zealand approves euthanasia, set to reject recreational marijuana

New Zealand has provisionally voted to legalise euthanasia but is on course to reject law changes that would allow recreational marijuana use, the country's Electoral Commission said on Friday. New Zealand voted on the two referendums this month while casting ballots during a general election Read More...

Militants kill 3 more members of Modi's party in Kashmir

SRINAGAR: Militants shot dead three young workers of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's party in Kashmir late on Thursday, days after his government changed laws allowing people from the rest of the country to buy land in the disputed region. Many Kashmiris have been simmering with anger Read More...

Harris target of more misinformation than Pence, data shows

CHICAGO: Long before Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden announced her as his running mate, Kamala Harris was the target of widespread online misinformation. Social media posts included racist claims that she was ineligible to serve in the White House or that she was lying about her Bla Read More...