Dr. Rivera explains why the government cancelled covering PCR tests by private labs

Public Health Minister Daniel Rivera explains why the government has desisted from covering PCR tests for persons with ARS insurance plans. He was interviewed for the Corripio Media Group lunch on 5 May 2021.

The Ministry of Public Health says the PCR tests continue to be available for free at select points in Santo Domingo and Santiago. But previously, they had been covered by insurance and available at leading private labs – Referencia and Amadita. The government is in arrears with the labs for the coverage of the tests.

Public Health Minister Daniel Rivera said that the government had sought a reduction in the cost the labs are charging the government. He said the labs refused to reduce the prices they are charging. He explained the private lab PCR charges is much more than the cost of the Dominican state that is only US$10, and an antigenic test costs US$4. He said the cost of a PCR is RD$560 and private labs are charging RD$2,200. He explained the private labs insist on charging the government the same prices established at the beginning of the pandemic when there was a market supply problem.

Furthermore, Dr. Rivera said that there was abuse in the number of tests carried out by insured people. He said several persons had carried out dozens of PCR tests, all with negative results.

He said that 80% of all PCR tests are negative.

He said the tests are now free but only at public hospital system nationwide.

Dr. Rivera says there are free PCR testing stations at the Ministry of Public Health headquarters on Av. Tiradentes, at the Quisqueya Ball Park, and at the Metro Juan Pablo Daurte station located at Máximo Gómez and John F. Kennedy for Greater Santo Domingo residents. Covid-19 spread is greatest in Greater Santo Domingo.

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5 May 2021