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Questioning Covid-19 Testing Costs



The Health Funders Association, which represents 35 medical schemes and 5.6 million members in South Africa, has filed a complaint against three of the country’s largest private pathology laboratories to the Competition Commission: Pathcare, Ampath, and Lancet.

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The complaint alleges these laboratories have profited from the Covid-19 PCR testing services they offer, and the association is looking to recuperate such gains to offset expenses medical schemes may have incurred.

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The Competition Commission has disclosed that these labs’ costs for carrying out the PCR tests dropped significantly between March 2020 and September 2021, despite charging exorbitant rates for their services.

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It goes on to state that the laboratories have gained significant profits from the tests since the onset of the pandemic.

The Competition Commission has previously handled complaints of unjustified and excessive pricing, so it remains to be seen what action will be taken for this particular case.

The Health Funders Association is seeking to get clarity on how much the laboratories made by performing Covid-19 PCR tests and consequently hopes that legal action can be taken to recover the money to help alleviate costs in the future.



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