Despite the fact that there is a cap on the price of RT-PCR test for covid19 in the state, the private laboratories continue to violate government guidelines and have been fleecing residents by charging Rs 900 or sometimes even Rs 1500.
The price of RT-PCR test has been fixed at Rs 450 by the Punjab Government and for rapid antigen test it’s Rs 300. However, the private labs in the district are openly charging Rs 900 to Rs 1500 for the RT-PCR test. If the samples are collected from home, the charges remain the same.
During a sting operation, posing as a patient, this Correspondent visited Dr Lal Path Labs and Ratan Lal Lab situated at Maqsudan here. “After inquiring about the RT-PCR test, how it is conducted or if it’s painful etc, I then asked for the price of the test to which the receptionist quickly replied Rs 900”.
“The receptionist first maintained that they only collect home samples, however when I insisted on giving samples at the lab itself, without any questions he agreed. He also added there is no change in the price whether I give samples at my place or in the lab”.
Meanwhile, after waiting for nearly an hour outside the lab, this correspondent also met a few visitors who came RT-PCR test. When cross-checked with them, a resident of Friends Colony, who wished not to be named, said he paid Rs 900 for the test of his sister.
Randeep Gill, public grievances officer with the district administration, said, “The video evidence submitted by True Scoop has been forwarded to Civil Surgeon and they would take action as and when a report from Civil Surgeon office is received”.
The DC, Ghanshyam Thori, said action would be taken against guilty labs. Last month, the administration took action against Tagore Hospital and Atulya Lab for overcharging.