ISLAMABAD - The Islamabad Healthcare Regulatory Authority (IHRA) has fixed the standard rate of conducting novel coronavirus (COVID-19) test at private hospitals and laboratories, The Nation learnt on Thursday.

Officials said that the authority has taken the decision to control the exorbitant prices of COVID-19 tests from the private healthcare set-ups.

The notification issued by the IHRA about fixing of standard rate for conducting RT-PCR for COVID-19 test said that in compliance with the decision of the NCOC and exercising the powers conferred under Islamabad Healthcare Regulation Act, 2018, all private hospitals, laboratories/collection centres etc. conducting RT-PCR tests are hereby directed to freeze the rates for RT-PCR test as mentioned.

About the rates it said that “PKR5,500 for tests using Chinese Kit and PKR6,500 for tests using Roche/Abbot Kit.”

The notification issued said that in view of above, all private hospitals, laboratories /collection centresshall be inspected for compliance by Islamabad Healthcare Regulatory Authority (IHRA) teams to elucidate the status of compliance with the above directives and healthcare services standard requirements of COVID-19.

It also said that the private hospitals, laboratories/collection centresfound non-compliant with the requirements shall be penalised in accordance with the rules, which may include deregistration, sealing the premises or fine and/or imprisonment etc. under the Islamabad Healthcare Regulation Act, 2018.

IHRA on Monday urged citizens for registration of complaints against any private or public sector healthcare facility on the forum. 

The notice issued by the authority said that Islamabad Healthcare Regulatory Authority was established on 22nd May,2018 to regulate the healthcare sector to ensure provision of quality healthcare services in Islamabad.

It said that it is an initiative to promote healthcare safety with a mandate to provide regulation and supervision in all forms and manifestation to the healthcare sector both private and public.

IHRA taking strict administrative decisions during novel coronavirus pandemic directed all private hospitals of the city to publicly display hospital charges and rates of PCR tests.

Earlier, it said that in the national healthcare emergency situation created by the COVID-19 pandemic, all private laboratories /collection centres are directed to display R-PCR test rates.

This information shall be displayed on the website and prominent places in the labs, especially at reception area.In view of above, all private laboratories/collection centreswill be inspected for compliance by Islamabad Healthcare Regulatory Authority teams to elucidate the status of compliance with the above directives and healthcare services standard requirements of COVID-19.