AHMEDABAD: The Gujarat government on Wednesday decided to slash rates of RT-PCR tests being conducted by private laboratories to Rs 400 from the existing Rs 700.
For RT-PCR samples collected from homes or hospitals, private laboratories cannot charge more than Rs 550, a reduction of Rs 350 from the existing rate of Rs 900, deputy chief minister Nitin Patel told reporters.
Patel, who holds the health portfolio, also said RT-PCR tests conducted by private laboratories for passengers at airports in the state will now cost Rs 2,700, a reduction of Rs 1,300 from the existing Rs 4,000.
Patel further said a private radiology centre cannot charge more than Rs 2,500 for a high-resolution CT (HRCT) scan. Charges fixed by the government for the HRCT scan are Rs 3,000, he said. The HRCT scan is vital to ascertain the Covid-19 infection in patients.
The decision to reduce the rates of RT-PCR tests has been taken keeping in mind the fall in the prices of kits used in these tests and as part of the state government’s preparation for a possible third wave of the pandemic, he added.
“The state government conducts RT-PCR tests for free. So far 1,66,99,857 RT-PCR tests and 91,55,936 Rapid Antigen Tests have been conducted in Gujarat. For those who seek to get themselves tested in private laboratories, the state government had reduced the rates on two occasions in the past.
The price of kits used in RT-PCR tests has also come down. So a government core committee has decided to slash the cost of tests,” Patel said.
He said the health department has launched measures to tackle a possible third wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. “The first thing to ascertain if a patient is COVID-19 positive or not is the RT-PCR test,” Patel added.
The minister further said the state government will purchase CT scan and MRI machines for various government hospitals and medical colleges at Rs 112 crore.
Gujarat’s Covid-19 caseload stood at 8,24,774 as of Tuesday, as per the state health department.





Source link Times of India

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