And it’s about time, too. The extortionate cost of a PCR test has long been a source of bitter contention in South Africa, effectively pricing out a large number of people who need to see if they’re COVID-positive. However, a ‘groundbreaking’ agreement between the Competition Commission and two private labs has changed that.
How much does a COVID PCR test cost?
Going forward, people requiring a PCR test will no longer be asked to pay R850 each time – a figure that looks more ludicrous with each glance. Instead, the new price structure will see individuals pay just R500 instead.
Of course, that’s still a substantial amount for a family of four, as an example – but it’s certainly a step in the right direction. The prices quoted include VAT, and customers will now save 42% when they purchase these tests.
This comes after an agreement between the Competition Commission and 2 major private labs, Ampath (Du Buisson Kramer Swart Bouwer Incorporated) + @LancetLab_ZA.
— Mia Malan (@miamalan) December 12, 2021
Worth the wait?
Speaking on Sunday, Competition Commission officials explained that they had received a wave of complaints about the ‘inflated and unjustifiable’ costs associated with securing PCR tests, which are essential for travel in and out of the country. But, almost two years into a pandemic, a fairer framework has now been hammered out
“The Competition Commission has reached a ground-breaking agreement with two major laboratories, Du Buisson Kramer Swart Bouwer Incorporated (Ampath), Drs Mauff AC & Partners t/a Lancet Laboratories (Lancet Laboratories), on the substantial reduction of COVID-19 PCR test prices.”
“On 8 October 2021, the Competition Commission received a formal complaint from the Council for Medical Schemes (CMS) against private pathology laboratories alleging that the price for supplying PCR tests for COVID-19 is unfairly inflated, exorbitant and/or unjustifiable.”