“There is no rational explanation why did the price of PCR test go up from 6,000 to 9,000 dinars, just like many things in this pandemic,” said Oliver Stojković, professor at the Faculty of Medicine and geneticist.
“The 50% price increase has no economic justification, bearing in mind that these are tests that, at the beginning of the pandemic, cost about 10 euro and now their price has dropped to 5 euro per test. I’m talking about the prices at which we, as Faculty, for example, procured those tests. There is absolutely no economic reason for the increase in the price,” Professor Stojković underlined.
He estimated that the previous price of 6000 dinars for the PCR test was already high enough, and taking into account all the costs that go with performing the test, the realistic price should be between 3,000 and 4000 dinars.
He pointed out that the reason could be the fact that the budget of the National Health Fund (RFZO) is empty and that this is a way to fill it up.
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“How does the Fund charge tests to citizens when the citizens pay health insurance to the RFZO in advance? We bought those products and tests with our own money, and now the RFZO is selling them to us,” he warned.
The fact that these are on-demand-tests which could be justification for such a high price, Dr Stojković says and adds that the RFZO has delegated execution of these tests to institutions and private laboratories.
Professor Stojković also warned that many citizens, who had coronavirus symptoms and were therefore entitled to free testing, paid out of their own pockets for PCR so that they would not have to wait in line for several hours in front of COVID clinics.
“Considering that health is priceless, they chose to pay to be tested even if they have health insurance,” he explained.
Talking about the number of tested and infected in Serbia, Professor Stojković underlined that it has long been clear to everyone that the official figures are far removed from reality and estimated that the share of PCR tests in the total number of daily tests is about 30%.
This post is also available in: Italiano