The fee for a nucleic acid test (NAT) at the Pac On testing station in the Taipa Ferry Terminal and the Macao Forum testing station in Zape has been cut to MOP 80 from MOP 90.
Tai Wa Hou, the coordinator of the Health Bureau’s (SSM) Covid-19 vaccination programme, said that Macao’s other three testing stations would not be covered by the MOP 10 price cut.
The three NAT stations not covered by the fee reduction are at Kiang Wu Hospital, University Hospital, which is run by the Macao University of Science and Technology, and the Workers Stadium next to the Barrier Gate border checkpoint, which is jointly run by the Macao Federation of Trade Unions, Guangdong Nam Yue Group Corporation, and Guangzhou KingMed Diagnostics Group.
Tai noted that the Pac On station and the Macao Forum station are run by the same testing institution – Kuok Kim (Macao) Hygiene Examination Company – in collaboration with the SSM.
As a result, Tai said, his bureau discussed a possible NAT fee cut with Kuok Kim first. Tai underlined that his bureau has also contacted and discussed a possible cut with the other three NAT stations, which run their own NAT services without cooperation with the Health Bureau, adding that the operators of the three NAT stations are still considering a possible fee cut.
“The Pac On station and the Macao Forum station are the two NAT stations run in collaboration with the Health Bureau,” Tai said.
“When we discussed a possible fee cut, of course we had to discuss the matter with the testing institution first. After calculating the cost, the testing institution agreed to lower the NAT fee to MOP 80.” .
“Concerning the other three testing institutions, they actually run their own NAT services without a cooperation relationship with the SSM. Of course we have contacted them to discuss whether they can lower their NAT fee, but they are still considering,” Tai said.
The SSMs commissioned Kuok Kim to carry out Covid-19 testing under the government’s NAT scheme, which was launched in May last year, at two testing stations – the main one at the Pac On ferry terminal and the other one at the Macao Forum complex.
Kiang Wu Hospital, which is located on the peninsula, and the University Hospital, which is located on the MUST campus in Taipa, joined the government’s NAT scheme in August and September last year respectively.
The Workers Stadium NAT station came into service in March this year.
According to previous SSM announcements, Kiang Wu Hospital, the University Hospital, and the Gung Luen-Nam Yue-KingMed consortium had respectively applied to provide Covid-19 testing service under the government’s NAT scheme network so that it is not a service outsourced by the government, unlike Kuok Kim which has been commissioned by the government to carry out Covid-19 testing under its NAT scheme.
The fee of each Covid-19 test was MOP 180 when the government’s NAT programme was launched in May last year, before it was lowered to MOP 120 in August.
The NAT fee was lowered to MOP 100 in November last year, before it was further lowered to MOP 90 in March this year.
In Hong Kong, a nucleic acid test costs HK$ 240 at Community Testing Centres across the city, which are run by different testing institutions commissioned by the government.