“On an average, test costs Rs 4,500 in Madhya Pradesh. It is the administration, which fixes rates. We cannot do anything”
Private hospitals charge three times more for coronavirus tests in Madhya Pradesh though other states have fixed the rate for tests.
For instance, Jharkhand government has slashed the maximum price of RT-PCR tests for Covid-19 to be charged by private laboratories at Rs 1,500. The earlier rate was Rs 2,400.
In fact, Jharkhand government has warned action against private labs, which will charge more than the fixed rate. While Delhi and Maharashtra have reduced test charges to Rs 2,200, other states continue to have variable rates.
Hamidia Hospital medical superintendant Dr ID Chaurasia said private hospitals charge Rs 4,000 to Rs 5,000 per test. “On an average, test costs Rs 4,500 in Madhya Pradesh. It is the administration, which fixes rates. We cannot do anything,” he added.
The Supreme Court in April had issued an order on Covid-19 test in private labs, stating that it should be free for poor.
In May, Indian Council of Medical Research asked states and union territories to negotiate with private labs to fix "mutually agreeable" rates for the test. In June, the apex biomedical research body said the private sector should further lower costs as testing materials are made in India. Earlier, the country imported them.