Government has introduced a Shs 240,500 ($65) cost recovery fee for coronavirus testing services.’
Ministry of Health says in a letter dated August 27, 2020, that owing to a spike in coronavirus cases and the many requests from organizations and companies seeking to have their staff tested, it has become difficult to sustain free testing due to the inadequate in-country stock of test kits and resource constraints.
”In view of the above fact therefore, the government has introduced a testing fee of US$65 or [Shs] 240,500 per test for certain categories of individuals and organizations. This is a cost recovery mechanism that will enable the ministry of Health to acquire more test kits for continued access to testing services in the country.”
Among the categories of people to charged for the coronavirus testing are truck drivers, individuals seeking to know their COVID-19 status, organizations (both government and private) who wish to test their staff, Ugandans returning from abroad and visitors arriving in the country.
The money is payable to Stanbic bank under account name; MOH COVID-19 TESTING FUNDS and account number 9030017657983. The ministry, however, notes that testing will continue to be free of charge for patients who present to health facilities with COVID-19 symptoms, contacts of people who tested positive for COVID-19, community surveys, front line health workers and surveillance samples.
The letter is signed by Geoffrey Sseremba on behalf of the permanent secretary Dr Diana Atwine.