Ford says it's a free market for private companies charging $400 per COVID-19 test

Sep 22 2020, 7:53 pm

Premier Doug Ford said it’s a free market for private companies that are reportedly charging $400 per COVID-19 test.

On Tuesday during the daily press conference, Ford was asked about private for-profit companies offering “mobile nursing teams” that promise results in 24 to 48 hours at $399.

“It’s a free market,” Ford said, adding that he encourages people to go to the testing centres. “We’ve pulled out all the stops, we have 10 pop-ups and assessment centres, and hospitals extending hospital hours.”

The premier also noted that pharmacies will be running coronavirus testing at the end of the week.

Health Minister Christine Elliot said that in legislature, the government is looking into private testing to examine if it can continue or not. 

But the need to have private testing is a move NDP critics say comes from Ford’s lack of action with enhanced testing for the second wave.

“Doug Ford is forcing families to pay $400 for a COVID-19 test that should be free and is undermining public medicare,” NDP Deputy Leader Sara Singh said during a question period on Tuesday.

“Families that have been left waiting cold, lonely hours for COVID tests desperately need the Ford government to improve their testing plan for a second wave.”

She added that private for-profit testing is “gouging families” and letting wealthier individuals “jump the queue.”

Singh noted that experts have been telling the Ford government for months to prepare for the testing needs of a second wave.

“Instead, Doug Ford has allowed testing to fall short of targets, and lines to stretch for hours,” said Singh.

“Will the premier allow people to pay their way to the front of the COVID-testing line, and what does this say about the government’s testing plan that people are being forced to pay $429 to skip the line?”

Ford said more details on enhanced testing will be revealed this week.

Elliot has also said that the province plans to have 50,000 tests done daily in the next two weeks.

Clarrie FeinsteinClarrie Feinstein

+ News
+ Politics
+ Coronavirus