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FF Plus worried about cost and consequences of Covid-19 tests with inconclusive results

The FF Plus is concerned about Covid-19 tests that are done at the National Health Laboratory Service (NHLS) as the results of some of these tests are not conclusive as either positive or negative.

Although there are various technical factors that could result in a test result being inconclusive, it is still a waste of money seeing as these tests are very expensive.

In yesterday’s parliamentary Portfolio Committee meeting on Health, the FF Plus determined that the cost per test amounts to R507,00. A total of 1 171 inconclusive tests, thus, add up to an amount of R593 697,00.

According to representatives of the Laboratory, provinces have not been liable for the cost of tests, but the situation is not sustainable. Provinces will have to start paying for the tests in the future. This raises the question of whether provinces will be able to cover those costs.

There is already a possibility that patients will refuse to get tested if they have to pay for the test themselves, especially when there is a chance that the test may deliver inconclusive results. Medical aids may also start to implement certain conditions for testing in the private sector.

The FF Plus is seriously worried about the backlog with tests that, according to laboratories, currently stands at 63 244. This serious backlog with tests has already caused many people to express their doubts regarding the daily official statistics.

In the previous Committee meeting, there had been a lot of confusion about the actual backlog with tests after the Department said that it was 80 000 but soon after that the Minister said that the backlog is only 30 000. The FF Plus will keep monitoring the situation.

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