What Is The Actual Complaint Here Over Coronavirus Testing?

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The way this is framed it is that the rich bastards are using up all the tests which should – righteously – be used to test the NHS frontline workers. Therefore, rich bastards, hang them all:

Private health firms have come under fire for profiting from the coronavirus pandemic by selling thousands of testing kits for up to £295 each – while frontline NHS workers go without.

One chain of private clinics in the Midlands has ramped up the cost of its home delivery coronavirus testing kit from £149 to £249 in just a matter of days – a 67% price increase.

Another firm, which normally lets patients book face-to-face GP appointments via an app in London, is selling home tests for £295, boasting laboratory results within 72 hours for what it warns is a “lethal” disease. The firm claims it was in talks with an unnamed NHS body after being approached about providing testing for staff.

The point is being specifically made:

Celebrities, sports stars, the wealthy and businesspeople have talked of testing positive or negative for Covid-19 while members of the public and health professionals with clear symptoms of the virus have been unable to get tests via Public Health England (PHE).

Rich bastards soaking up the ability to get tested, hang them all.

Except that’s not what is happening, not at all.

Dr Grant Charlesworth-Jones, medical director at Summerfield Healthcare, said the firm was making a margin of approximately £50 on each testing kit sold. He admitted that the tests were not endorsed by PHE but said he believed laboratories were pursuing accreditation.

This is what is happening. We can cast this either way we like. The private sector is cobbling together something that works – maybe- rather faster than the Stalinist NHS can. Or, alternatively, the private sector is ripping off people with something not yet proven to work. Chacun a son gout over which way to go there.

But note what this means. The rich bastards aren’t soaking up capacity that could be used by the NHS. Because the NHS won’t use these testing forms because PHE won’t authorise the NHS to use these tests. Thus the rich bastards are actually alleviating pressure upon the testing centres that the NHS will use. And paying through the nose for the privilege of doing so. Thus this isn’t something to complain about, is it?

But rich bastards, hang them all, any excuse will do, right?

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John B

Testing is diagnostic not preventative nor curative. Anyone paying good money for a test kit has more money than sense. A negative test result (for anything) has a very limited shelf-life, and for transmissible diseases just until you come into contact with another Human. (Some negatives can be false. ) Therein lies the problem, people assume once tested negative they are OK from now on. They get symptoms and say, it can’t be the lurgy cos I just tested negative. As for front-line staff, unless they are tested at least daily before they start work, it is a waste of… Read more »