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Test fee differences

Not only truck drivers who are frequently visiting epidemic areas, but all patients and patients' family members in most hospitals must be tested for Covid-19 before entering the hospital and pay a test fee.

Meanwhile, each medical facility carries out tests in a different way. Quick antigen testing (varies within 150,000 and 400,000 VND/sample) and Real-time PCR (between 734,000 and 800,000 VND/sample) make many people confused by the price difference between these two types of testing.

Medical facilities provide either rapid antigen test or PCR test

Deputy Health Minister Nguyen Truong Son said that during the new epidemic outbreak, the Ministry required hospitals to control the situation rigorously and thoroughly pick up cases to test for COVID-19.

Individuals required to be tested for Covid-19 include patients who were hospitalized for in-patient treatment; family members who take care of in-patients; out-patients with symptoms of fever, cough, shortness of breath, co-existing diseases or factors related to the epidemic area. In mentioned cases doctor will ask you to get tested.

Covid-19 testing

Mr. Son also said that the Ministry does not set regulations on which type of testing to use, it depends on the capacity of each medical facility. Therefore, rapid antigen, single PCR test or pooling testing can be used to reduce costs.

"Apart from medical staff, the Ministry now requires hospitals to regularly test patients in departments and sections for respiratory diseases, severe chronic diseases such as patients under dialysis treatment.

At the same time, costs are either included in health insurance or paid by the state budget. Since the Ministry has not yet agreed and given guidelines, for the time being hospitals should impose testing fees on in-patient caregivers, "said Mr. Son.

Who is going to pay for COVID-19 testing has not been decided yet

According to the decree of the Ministry of Health, people requested to be tested for Covid-19 if they match at least one of the following conditions:

  • fever, cough, shortness of breath, sore throat, pneumonia;
  • one of the following epidemiological premises such as being in close contact (within 2m) to a person infected with Covid-19 or a person suspected of being infected with Covid-19;
  • people staying on the quarantine period in concentrated isolation areas;
  • people returning from epidemic areas in Vietnam within 14 days before the symptoms started to show;
  • Covid-19 patients while getting treatment.

Other cases are defined by the direction of the National Steering Committee for Covid-19 Prevention and Control, the Ministry of Health, and the Steering Committee for Covid-19 Prevention and Control in each local area.

In early May, the Ministry of Health sent a request to consult the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Social Security to agree on the source of payment for Covid-19 testing. However, up to now, the Ministry of Health has not put forward the plan, leaving many medical facilities passive.