Following the unwelcome news that the public must now pay for PCR and antigen tests, the only exemptions being children at primary and secondary school, Yeniduzen has asked why charges are not made at cost.
In Sunday’s article, Yeniduzen writes that the cost price of a PCR test (including laboratory charges) is between 80-85 TL, yet the government is permitting charges of up to 100 TL. Meanwhile, antigen tests are, at cost, between 25-28 TL each and the government is permitting those to be charged at up to 40 TL.
Health care representatives have reacted to the government’s decision. CTP Deputy, Dr. Sıla Usar İncirli said the decision to charge for Covid tests was a “critical mistake”. “It is a critical mistake that tests are charged for while the epidemic has accelerated so much, the number of cases has reached 200, thousands of patients are receiving treatment and deaths are continuing”. The government should not turn this into fiscal policy, without taking into consideration the impact on people’s pockets, she said. Charging for tests was an indirect form of tax, while risking further spreading of the epidemic, Dr. İncirli added.
As previously reported, Molecular Genetics Specialist and HP Deputy Jale Refik Rogers stated that the reason for the government’s decision was to support public finances, but the economic damage that the pressure and potential backlog may cause on the health system will be many times higher than the cost of testing the public for free.
In a separate article, Yeniduzen reported that Tourism and Environment Minister Fikri Ataoğlu said that he had suggested to the Council of Ministers that those who remain unvaccinated should be charged for testing to encourage them to have the vaccination. However, this was not how it had turned out. “The tourism sector will also be adversely affected by this [charging for testing]”, he added.