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The costs of testing for COVID 19 in the South Asi...
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Hi Debbi

Thanks for starting this health forum, it will be very interesting to follow in terms of acquiring information about medicine/health in anthropology. I include my own limited and mainly anecdotal reports about COVID 19. 

Currently I am interested in what ordinary people have to pay for having a COVID 19 test in the above regions. Here in Australia we don't think that much about cost because it is free for us to be tested. In Indonesia for example, it is not as far as I can tell, unless one is showing symptoms and goes to a hospital. When I first started looking at some prices sent to me by friends, medical professionals and academics I was surprised to discover that the costs varied from province to province. My examples came from West and Central Java, Sulawesi, Bali and Lombok. Since then, a new government regulation has been issued standardizing a rapid test at Rp150,000 (AUD15 approx.) That is still a lot of money for poor people. PCR tests are higher and I think, not regulated. If one wants to travel between provinces one has to be tested and pay maybe Rp.2.5 million (AUD250). And prices will vary depending on whether testing is carried out in a public or private health facility.

An anecdote from an Indian friend whose family live in Delhi came up with more alarming costs, about AUD16,000 for 3 family members.  

With costs such as these it would be impossible to contain/control this pandemic. No doubt there are many other low to middle income countries struggling with costs and containment. 
I would love to hear more news from other regions.
 
Cynthia Hunter
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