TheJakartaPost

Please Update your browser

Your browser is out of date, and may not be compatible with our website. A list of the most popular web browsers can be found below.
Just click on the icons to get to the download page.

Jakarta Post

Indonesia sets COVID-19 swab test price ceiling at Rp 900,000

  • Moch. Fiqih Prawira Adjie

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Sat, October 3, 2020   /   11:41 am
Indonesia sets COVID-19 swab test price ceiling at Rp 900,000 Say ahh: A nurse takes a swab sample from a patient at the Tanah Abang district office in Central Jakarta on June 21. Swab tests, also called polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests, use mucus samples taken from the nose or throat to detect COVID-19. (JP/P.J. Leo)

The government has set the price ceiling for individually requested COVID-19 swab tests at Rp 900,000 (US$60.6) to eliminate price disparities following concerns over the high costs of tests at private laboratories.

The price ceiling was determined after a discussion with the Development Finance Comptroller (BPKP) on analysis and surveys of health care facilities, the Health Ministry’s public health director general, Abdul Kadir, said.

“Our problem are the price disparities; the prices are not uniform.” Kadir was quoted as saying in a statement published Friday.

“It is for this reason that the caps have been set for the cost of independent swab and RT-PCR [reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction] tests.”

The prices will be enforced through a Health Minister circular expected to be issued soon, he added.

Read also: Research and Technology Ministry to launch rapid and PCR test kits

Furthermore, the ministry has asked regional health agencies to ensure that local health facilities in their respective areas implement the price cap.

Iwan Taufiq Purwanto, one of the BPKP’s deputy heads for government agency supervision, said the comptroller would supervise the implementation of the price ceiling.

According to the ministry, the COVID-19 swab test price usually covers the labor cost of the doctors and other testing personnel, consumables such as personal protective equipment and other overhead costs such as waste management.

Prior to the regulation, the national COVID-19 task force said several hospitals had charged more than Rp 2.5 million for swab tests.

With COVID-19 rapid tests still being widely used in the country, including as a requirement for travel, the ministry set the price cap for the tests at Rp 150,000 in July.

According to Worldometer.info, Indonesia has conducted more than 3.6 million COVID-19 swab tests as of Oct. 2. The country has recorded 295,449 confirmed COVID-19 cases, with 10,972 fatalities as of Friday.