A Deputy Minister of Health, Bernard Okoe Boye has hinted at a possible reduction in the cost of COVID-19 tests conducted at the Kotoka International Airport.
Passengers who arrive at the airport as part of COVID-19 protocols must take a test at the cost of $150 per person.
Speaking to Citi News, Dr. Okoe Boye indicated that negotiations based on economies of scale are far advanced with the firm carrying out testing at the Kotoka International Airport.
He added that the government’s aim is not to make profit from the citizens but to help preserve the lives of the citizens of the country.
“Remember economies of scale. We anticipate that the numbers will go up with the festive season. We are trying to make some arguments and really you never know, it’s a private provider but the motive is to help manage the pandemic. No element, no government official, not even the president has profit as a motive. The motive is to preserve lives and to protect our population.”
The Minister made the comments on the back of the Minority in Parliament’s call for the legality of the charge.
The Minority in Parliament had earlier described as illegal, the $150 being charged for COVID-19 testing at the Kotoka International Airport.
According to the Minority Leader, Haruna Iddrisu, the fee has not been approved by Parliament in accordance with Ghanaian laws.
Addressing the press in Parliament on matters related to the management of coronavirus pandemic, the Minority Leader, Haruna Iddrisu demanded transparency with regard to the utilization of COVID-19 funds.
“Give us the legal basis for those charges. If we have to do something, it has to be supported by legislation. It is illegal and exploitative.”
But according to Dr. Okoe Boye, the government is still considering reducing the cost of the COVID-19 test.
He added that efforts are being made to convince the company in charge of the testing at the airport to get consider a reduction in the price.
“We have not thrown away completely the argument of cost reduction. As I speak, there have been occasions I have engaged the company with the permission of my boss Hon. Kwaku Agyeman Manu to make arguments on why we think that there should be a reduction.”