The government has issued Circular No: Hk.02.02 / I / 2875/2020 concerning the Highest Tariff Limitation for Antibody Rapid Test for Rp150 thousand. The highest rate applies to people who conduct antibody rapid test checks at their request.
In a circular dated July 6, 2020, the government explained that there should be a set of maximum rate because the current price of the rapid test was still varied, thus, it is confusing the community. Through this circular is intended to provide certainty for the community and providers of antibody rapid test examination services so that the current rates can offer guarantees to the community.
Director of UGM RSA, dr. Arief Budiyanto, Ph.D, Sp.KK (K), explained that there are differences in rapid test rates due to a large number of reagent brands and rapid test devices on the market.
"The reason why rapid tests vary in price is that there are also various methods and reagents," he said on Friday (10/7).
He said the reagents in the market were quite varied with prices also varying. That condition makes every hospital, clinic, and laboratory use a rapid test kit that also differs. Therefore, it also causes the cost of rapid test examination to be varied.
Besides, the method used in sampling also influences the difference in rapid test rates. Arief explained that there are two ways of blood sampling in a rapid test. They could be through the capillaries in the fingertips or can also be through veins.
"The validity of blood sampling through veins is higher than through capillaries. However, the consequences are that the procedure is longer and more expensive," Arief said.
Arief added, the difference in tariffs was also due to the additional costs of services such as PPE and others. These factors make the price of rapid tests very varied.
"Likewise with the PCR test, the reagents also vary, then the incremental costs of different services cause the PCR inspection rate to be high," he explained.
Arief conveyed that the government had indeed set a maximum rapid test rate of Rp150 thousand to reduce variations in the cost of rapid tests in the country. However, he hopes that in the future, the government will also regulate the price of reagents on the market.
"What is regulated must be everything, including reagents. How can the government provide economically, but quality reagents," Arief said.
Head of GMC Clinical Services Division, dr. Novrida, AAK., said that the rapid test conducted as an initial screening in the Covid-19 examination. Independent tests are usually carried out by people who will travel outside the area or enter other areas as well as for the conditions before they go travelling.
He said the GMC clinic had opened an independent rapid test service since last April. Up to till this moment, there are more than two thousand rapid test examinations carried out on their request.
Before the government SE issued, he continued, his party was referring to the Sleman Regent Regulations No. 26.2 of 2020. In this regulation, the rate of the self-rapid rapid test at the Puskesmas in the Sleman area is Rp. Two hundred ten thousand plus a doctor's examination fee with a certificate of Rp. 20 thousand.
"From the beginning, before the government left the SE, the rate of the independent rapid test inspection service at GMC was already below Perbup," he said.
Translator: Natasa A