Private labs can’t charge people for Covid-19 tests, orders Supreme Court
The Supreme Court on Wednesday barred private laboratories from testing patients for coronavirus disease. The judges said they were satisfied that there was a case for not charging patients for the tests and would decide later if they were entitled to any reimbursement from the government.
The private hospitals including laboratories have an important role to play in containing the scale of the pandemic by extending philanthropic services in the hour of national crisis. We thus are satisfied that the petitioner has made out a case for issuing a direction to the respondents to issue necessary direction to accredited private Labs to conduct free of cost COVID-19 test,”* the bench comprising Justices Ashok Bhushan and S Ravindra Bhat said.
The court said allowing private labs to charge Rs 4,500 for screening and confirmation test of Covid-19 may not be within means of a large part of population of this country. No person should be deprived of the test due to the person’s inability to pay for the test.

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