Turmoil of Covid-19 test cost

According to the Ho Chi Minh City Department of Health’s regulations, patients and their relatives tested negative for SARS-CoV-2 are allowed to enter medical facilities amid the current epidemic; however, patients and their relatives got bewildered at turmoil of Covid-19 test cost.

As of June 11, 24 medical facilities are allowed to carry out Covid-19 tests by real-time RT-PCR method, while the test demand is high.

Turmoil of Covid-19 test cost ảnh 1
According to the survey, the Covid-19 test cost at the municipal Center for Disease Control is VND734,000 a sample while it costs VND2.2 million, VND3.3 million, VND1.5 million, and VND2.1 million a sample at Hoan My Saigon General Hospital, FV Hospital, Thong Nhat Hospital, and the Military Hospital 175.

Explaining the price difference, the consultant of a private hospital said that Covid-19 testing is classified as a service, so the hospitals have the right to decide the price. Worse, the insurance agency does not pay for insured patients’ Covid-19 test but supports it partially.

According to the regulations of the Ministry of Health, the price for a quick test is VND238,000 a sample, while real-time RT-PCR costs VND734,000 a sample. However, the cost of real-time RT-PCR depends on the method of testing the single sample or the pooled sample.

Recently, Deputy General Director of Vietnam Social Insurance Pham Luong Son issued guidance on the Covid-19 test payment under the health insurance regime.

At this time, it is urgent to carry out the Covid-19 test while admitting patients amid the development of the coronavirus pandemic; however, the cost of the Covid-19 test must be transparent and low so that patients from low-income families can afford it.