By Nur Ashikin Louis
KUCHING, June 15: The federal government and Ministry of Health (MOH) must find ways to synchronise the capped prices of Covid-19 tests for both West Malaysia and East Malaysia to make it affordable and equitable for everyone in the fight against Covid-19.
Despite noting that the prices have already been capped under the Emergency (Essential Powers) Ordinance 2021 on May 11, Bandar Kuching MP Dr Kelvin Yii Lee Wuen stressed that the capped prices showed significant difference between East & West Malaysia.
“Why must there always be a price difference between West and East Malaysia even when it comes to something so important during a pandemic? The government must find ways to subsidise the differences in cost so that that it is equitable for all.
“It is injustice if those in East Malaysia are made to pay almost 40 per cent more for these testing kits. The excuse of ‘transportation cost’ or other common excuses often used to justify the differences in prices in East Malaysia is unacceptable in such context as the government should find ways to make it affordable and equitable for all regardless of our location and demographics,” he said in a statement today.
Dr Yii held that the authorities should be encouraging more mass testings and one of the best ways to do it is to involve the private sector in all locations.
He pointed out that the positive rate in some areas in East Malaysia remains much higher than the recommended range by the World Health Organisation (WHO).
“That is why, we need to make it as affordable as possible and encourage more to come out to test especially in the outbreak areas. There should not be any form of discrimination in the case of a basic necessity especially when it comes to public health,” he added.
Dr Yii was responding to the recent statement by the Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Adham Baba who said that the price of Covid-19 tests had been capped under the Emergency (Essential Powers) Ordinance 2021 on May 11 to ensure that it remains reasonable while the battle against the pandemic rages on.
The government has set the ceiling price for polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) tests at RM150 for Peninsula and RM200 for East Malaysia; RTK-Antigen tests at RM60 (Peninsula) and RM80 (East Malaysia); and RTK-Antibody tests at RM50 (Peninsula) and RM70 (East Malaysia). — DayakDaily