JAKARTA, KOMPAS.com – The Health Ministry’s director of prevention and control of infectious diseases Siti Nadia Tarmizi said Indonesia has been evaluating the cost of reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) tests periodically.
The evaluation, which has been jointly conducted by the Ministry of Health and the Development Finance Comptroller (BPKP), aims to prevent the Covid-19 swab test from unwanted business interests.
“Together with BPKP, we evaluate the pricing policy periodically by making some adjustments according to the current conditions,” said Nadia in a statement on Monday, November 8.
“The evaluation is done to avoid the unwanted business interests from happening and ensure price certainty for the people,” she said.
She further added that the evaluation of the pricing policy has been done three times during the pandemic. The first price evaluation took place on October 5, 2020, when the Covid-19 swab test was set at 900,000 Indonesia rupiahs ($63).
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This year, the government has done the evaluation twice on August 16 and October 27. In August, the price was set at 495,000 Indonesia rupiahs ($35) within Java and Bali areas and 525,000 Indonesia rupiahs ($37) outside Java and Bali areas. Meanwhile, in October, the cost has been reduced to 275,000 Indonesia rupiahs ($19) within Java and Bali and 300,000 Indonesia rupiahs ($21) outside Java and Bali.
“I reiterate once again that in determining the cost of PCR tests, it is not done by the Ministry of Health alone, but it is done together with BPKP,” said Nadia.
The Covid-19 swab test price would be based on several components, including the labor cost, reagents, consumables, administrative cost, overhead cost, and others.
“The cost of Reagents is the highest, reaching 45-55 percent of the total cost.”
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