Saturday 17 April 2021

Coronavirus test lab capacity is being paid for twice: Volkskrant

Photo: DutchNews.nl

The government is paying eight large commercial laboratories for coronavirus testing capacity which is not being used, the Volkskrant reported on Friday.

Instead, swabs taken in nationwide testing centres are being processed in small labs, often attached to hospitals, at further cost, the paper said. The paper bases its claims on its own research.

The health minister sealed the contract with the eight labs to process 120,000 tests a day last autumn and the fee is payable whether or not tests are processed.

Health minister Hugo de Jonge declined to say how much money is being paid to the labs and how much capacity is not being used, the paper said. However, last year the contract was worth some €317m, the paper said.

Of the total PCR coronavirus tests a day, 55% reportedly go to the eight big labs and the rest to smaller labs to be paid for separately.

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