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Asking Price Too Steep

EDITOR, The Tribune

As of July 25, there are a reported 159 confirmed cases of COVID-19 on Grand Bahama -- 29 more than in New Providence. Grand Bahama is now a hotspot for the virus. Many people on the island are jittery, for obvious reasons. The very thing Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis attempted to avert with the closure of the borders and implementation of curfews and lockdowns have sadly become a frightening reality.

The Ministry of Health has so far conducted 3,935 tests, which has been criticised by certain official opposition members as not being enough. I believe that the Public Hospitals Authority is overwhelmed. A private clinic in Freeport is apparently aware of the public health system’s snail’s pace in conducting COVID-19 tests, and have decided to do its own testing by appointment. I understand that the fee for a COVID-19 test is between $250 - $300. Freeport’s economy has been tottering since 2000, made worse by the closure of the Royal Oasis and Casino in 2004, after the passage of Hurricanes Francis and Jeanne.

The current pandemic has only exacerbated an economic situation that has been for bad for two decades. With many working Grand Bahamians being laid off, furloughed or working reduced hours, few can afford $250 for a COVID-19 test. Many Grand Bahamians are depending on government handouts from the National Insurance Board and Social Services. With mortgage, rent, utilities and food bills mounting, the COVID-19 fee is not a priority for many.

I appreciate the private clinic wanting to assist in the battle against this pandemic. But I believe that the asking price is too steep for many Grand Bahamians.

KEVIN EVANS

Freeport,

Grand Bahama

July 26, 2020.

Comments

joeblow 1 week ago

... but how can the clinic sell the the test below or at cost if government is not subsidizing testing (which it should be doing)? Things cost what they do!

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tribanon 6 days, 15 hours ago

But our government and our country are broke! Government finding more lenders in order to borrow just to buy food to feed the Bahamian people is quickly becoming the main concern and challenge going forward.

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Dawes 6 days, 17 hours ago

It's (still) a free country so Mr Evans can set up his own clinic and perform the tests at a lower rate if he wants to. There is no one stopping him. I am sure with his connections he will be able to open it in record time as well unlike the regular citizens of this country for whom it would take months or years to do.

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