KATHMANDU, July 14: The government has formed a committee to probe private hospitals collecting swab samples of people for coronavirus testing, defying the protocol set by the Ministry of Health and Population.
As per the direction from the health ministry, the Quality Standard and Regulation Division has formed a three-member committee led by Dr Pan Bahadur Chhetri to probe private hospitals in the Kathmandu Valley for collecting swab samples defying the guidelines of the government.
Some private hospitals in Kathmandu are accused of charging up to Rs 8,000 from people for COVID-19 testing. Likewise, the hospitals are also accused of collecting swab samples of people defying the protocol set by the government.
As per the National Testing Guideline for COVID-19, one must have acute respiratory illness (fever and cough or fever and shortness of breath) to undergo COVID-19 testing. Likewise, the guideline also says that one must have come from coronavirus-affected areas to undergo testing.
According to an official at the health ministry, the committee will submit a report within the next few days. "We received complaints that some hospitals are collecting swab samples from people and charging them a significant amount. The ministry received complaints that these hospitals have charged up to Rs 8,000 for testing," the official told Republica.
"The private hospitals have to collect samples as per the guidelines set by the government before sending the samples to government labs for testing," added the official.
Currently, the government has allowed two private hospitals in the Kathmandu Valley to conduct coronavirus testing by charging the people.