Residents complain of COVID testing fees

Lae residents have raised concerns that they are being charged fees for COVID-19 testing at urban health facilities.

An employer advised the Morobe Provincial Health Authority that potential employees were being charged K10 each to get COVID-19 clearance; an amount that those seeking jobs cannot afford.

When asked about the issue, Morobe PHA CEO Dr Kipas Binga said citizens should not be charged any fee as we are still in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Of anything that is happening, and we don’t know about, and it’s improper then it should be reported to the appropriate authorities for action,” said Dr Binga.

“The hospital is here. They can come to the director for corporate, they can see the public health directorate, they can report to the immediate OIC (officer-in-charge) of the facility if their staff is not behaving well. Just talk to them.

“These are public institutions.

“Now that this is known, we will also ask and find out from our team.” 

Concerns have been raised since last year that those needing COVID-19 clearance were being charged.

The matter was raised with the MoPHA CEO late last year, while another complaint was laid early this month for the health authority to clarify whether the public should pay fees for GeneXpert testing.

Carmella Gware