Checks show range of prices for RTK antigen test

PETALING JAYA: The service fee for the RTK antigen testing under the Socso scheme ranges anywhere from RM40 to RM100, checks by The Star have found.

Various clinics around the country revealed that the fee also depended on the number of people being tested.

One clinic in Sri Kembangan, Selangor, for example, quoted RM60 per test.

If there were more than 100 people being tested onsite, the cost would go down to RM40.

Another clinic in Banting, Selangor, said the service fee would be between RM80 and RM100, depending on the number of workers being tested.

Similarly in Sabah, most clinics were charging between RM60 and RM100 per person.

“We will also give a special quotation if more people are being tested, ” one clinic told The Star. For those who are not covered under the Socso scheme, the cost of the test was much higher, with some clinics even quoting prices up to RM200.

The RTK method is done on blood samples but only detects the presence of antibodies to the coronavirus and not the virus itself.

The RT-PCR test, which is more expensive, is considered to be more accurate than the RTK antigen, although the latter is more suitable for large-scale testing as it produces faster results.

The RT-PCR method detects the presence of Covid-19 in an individual’s body by looking at genetic material taken from swabs.

Medical Practitioners Coalition Association of Malaysia president Dr Raj Kumar Maharajah said as far as he knew, Covid-19 testing prices had reduced.

“In fact, it is lower than prices recommended by doctor associations.

“But maybe there are sporadic cases where they have increased the price, ” he added.

Dr Raj said the RT-PCR tests used to be around RM400 to RM450 but was now about RM250, while the RTK antigen testing was now about RM120, down from RM200 to RM250.

Under the Socso scheme, Dr Raj said prices were between RM50 and RM80 depending on the number of people.

Malaysian Medical Association (MMA) president Datuk Dr Subramaniam Muniandy said the fee quoted at between RM40 and RM50 per worker was nominal, taking into consideration the work, high risk and responsibility in conducting the screenings.

“The MMA has advised all participating general practitioners to charge reasonably for the service.

“This professional fee includes the swab test procedure involving strict compliance with infectious disease prevention and control, PPE as well as administrative and logistical costs.

“Participating practitioners also bear full medico-legal responsibilities in conducting the swab tests and accurately recording and reporting test results while complying with health guidelines, ” he added.

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