Two private hospital chains in Mexico City are charging between 6,000 and 10,000 pesos (US $260-$433) for coronavirus tests, the newspaper Milenio has confirmed.
Milenio reporters verified that hospitals operated by the Ángeles chain are charging patients at least 6,000 pesos for Covid-19 tests. The price is almost three times higher than the 2,300 pesos that the government has said it costs to produce and perform a single test.
Milenio noted that a specific coronavirus test is not available at some Ángeles hospitals because they don’t have the necessary equipment.
Those hospitals are instead offering a broader virological test, at a cost of 40,000 pesos, to people who believe they may be infected. The fee includes a medical consultation, personalized care and hospitalization if required.
Test results are available in 24 to 48 hours.
During visits to emergency departments of Ángeles hospitals, Milenio reporters noted that medical personnel ask patients a range of questions such as “What are your symptoms?”, “Have you traveled to the United States, Italy, Asia, France or Germany?” and “Have you had contact with any positive case?”
Before coronavirus tests are carried out, patients are isolated and tested for influenza and the common cold, Milenio said.
The newspaper said that strict sanitary measures are not observed at the emergency departments at Ángeles hospitals, noting that receptionists and security guards were not using face masks or gloves.
Milenio also visited hospitals operated by the ABC chain and found that they are charging similar fees for Covid-19 tests to their counterparts at Ángeles hospitals, though medical personnel there are observing stricter sanitary measures, the newspaper reported.
People with symptoms of Covid-19, such as a dry cough and fever, are isolated to prevent any possible spread of the infectious disease to other patients, and doctors wear long-sleeved lab coats, face masks and latex gloves when interacting with them.
In addition to Covid-19 testing, patients presenting flu-like symptoms are also tested for other respiratory diseases. If they test positive for either coronavirus or another respiratory illness, ABC hospital staff recommend hospitalization, Milenio said.
Details of the Covid-19 testing costs and procedures at private hospitals in Mexico City come as the number of coronavirus cases continues to climb in Mexico.
There were 82 confirmed cases of Covid-19 as of Monday, according to the Health Ministry, and 171 suspected cases.
The government is urging Mexicans to maintain “a healthy distance” from one another to avoid infection but has not announced any travel bans to help fight coronavirus, which had spread to 150 countries around the world as of Monday.
Source: Milenio (sp)