Coronavirus: Private clinic defends charging £375 for test

A private healthcare clinic in London has defended its decision to charge £375 ($434) for a coronavirus test.

The Private Harley Street Clinic said the price reflected “the costs of these logistic and clinical services that we provide” and added that it was offering free tests for NHS staff.

It followed newspaper reports that the clinic had sold several thousand at full price.

According to its website, the test is no longer available.

In a statement released on Monday, the clinic said it was “pausing” the service now that the UK government has committed to carrying out more tests nationwide, with a commitment to carrying out 25,000 tests a day within four weeks.

Chief executive Dr Mark Ali did not respond to the BBC’s request for comment.

It is believed the test offered was made by a firm called Randox Health, which was selling them online for £120 each, although according to its website it is currently out of stock.

Randox Health was also contacted by the BBC.

‘Exploiting vulnerability’

Public Health England currently does not advise buying home tests. It says there is not yet enough information about them.

“It is not known whether either a positive or negative result is reliable”, reads a statement on its website.

A spokesman for the General Medical Council said: “We expect doctors to be clear about the safety and accuracy of Covid-19 tests, and not to offer or recommend tests that are unproven, clinically unverified and/or otherwise unreliable.”

Prof Martin Marshall, chair of the Royal College of GPs, said the needs of NHS staff and patients should be “put over making profit from the situation”.


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