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Government caps coronavirus test price

September 19th, 2020

As the government sets a maximum charge for coronavirus private tests and the opposition demands that they be provided completely free of charge, a liberal commentator deems capped prices harmful.

On Wednesday, Prime Minister Orbán announced that the government had set the maximum price of private coronavirus tests at 19,500 Forints. (So far, private patients have paid around 30,000 Forints for a single PCR test. Patients with several symptoms of the coronavirus could get the test free of charge from the National Ambulance Service but usually had to wait several days for it). The Democratic Coalition has demanded that testing should be completely free.

On 444.hu, Gergely Csurgó fears that fixed prices will force private testing companies to withdraw from the business or seek cheaper methods. The liberal commentator calculates that the price set by the government will not cover the cost of PCR tests, therefore private testing companies may turn to slower and less reliable testing methods. Csurgó suggests that as the public health service has a limited testing capacity, fixed prices will result in even less testing in Hungary.

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