Rapid-test kit prices out of control, businesses propose price stabilization
The Ministry of Finance (MOF) and Ministry of Health (MOH) are considering adding rapid test kits to the list of products subject to price stabilization after reports about price turmoil.
Fourteen business associations have proposed adding rapid test kits to the list of products for price control, saying that the Covid-19 pandemic will last a long time and the demand for kits is high and it is now too expensive.
MOF has cited the 2012 Law on Price and Decree 177 released in 2013 ( that guides the implementation of some articles of the Law on Price) as saying that Covid-19 rapid test kit is not listed among the products for price stabilization as stipulated in the Law on Price and other legal documents.
MOF said it would consider the proposal from the association. However, the ministry, citing the law, said MOH, as the management agency, needs to study this and clarify the need to stabilize the prices of rapid test kits.
MOH needs to show detailed assessments on the need to control the prices of the product, clarify the possible impact on enterprises’ production and business activities. It also needs to show market factors and a mechanism to organize price stabilization.
MOF will join forces with MOH to submit to the Government a statement on the issue, which will be submitted to the National Assembly Standing Committee for consideration and decision.
Meanwhile, MOH has asked local authorities to inspect the import, trade and procurement of rapid test and RT-PCR kits.
The dispatch from the ministry was sent to Party Committee Secretary and Chair of People’s Committees of provinces/cities on October 4.
When the Covid-19 pandemic broke out, measures to prevent embezzlement, waste and wrongdoings in the pandemic prevention and control were applied.
MOH has sent many dispatches reminding local authorities to practice thrift and strengthen inspections to handle violations in anti-pandemic prevention activities.
However, people and press agencies have reported many problems in the pricing of rapid test and PCR kits, as well as testing fees.
People and enterprises complain that the testing fees are higher than the real costs, and the testing service fees vary at difficult medical units. Many healthcare centers collect high fees, especially private hospitals.
In order to timely discover and handle violations related to the behavior of exploiting the pandemic to seek profits by raising selling prices, MOH has asked local leaders to strengthen inspections to discover wrongdoings.
Prior to that, Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh asked appropriate agencies to clarify information about the test kit price turmoil and provide official information to the public. He stressed that the procurement of medical equipment must ensure efficiency and transparency.
Luong Bang - Nguyen Lien
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