After 7 Covid private labs were commissioned last week Monday, June 29, Lagosians were concerned about how they would benefit from these laboratories.
Some asked the Commissioner for Health, Prof. Akin Abayomi questions concerning the daily operation of these laboratories.
Here are four things you need to know before you walk into one of these laboratories.
Question and Answers:
Q: Who determines the price? Is it the labs themselves or does the Lagos State Ministry of Health (LSMOH) have a say?
A: We [Lagos State Ministry of Health] are regulating the cost as the public protector.
Q: How do we ensure there’s no price gouging in play given the limited number of private labs available, it’s a clear monopoly for them.
A: More private labs will be accredited soon as they go through the rigorous validation process set by government. This avoid monopoly.
Q: There are however practical concerns around the speed of release of tests undertaken at the public test centres. What may be the reason for this and how is this being addressed?
A: Testing time is now under 24 hours at the Lagos State Biobank. The turn around time is improving with every passing week as is the volume of testing now standing at about 1,000 per day and increasing.
Q: Can people walk into any of these labs to get tested for a fee?
A: Yes, that is how it works if you approach the accredited private labs above. However, all our public testing centers are still free and accessible to all Lagosians.
For all we know, these laboratories are not free like the public ones. They operate under a fix price which is regulated by the Ministry of Health.