TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — In an effort to ease access to coronavirus testing, Taiwan's Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) on Wednesday (Dec. 2) announced that it has begun to list testing locations and their prices online and has requested local health authorities to do the same.
The CECC on Wednesday announced that in order to make it easier for the public to obtain information on self-financed COVID-19 tests, it has released relevant information on testing fees at designated hospitals across the country. It also has requested the health bureaus of all counties and cities provide relevant information online.
The command center has placed relevant information on its official Taiwan Centers for Disease Control website in a document titled "Application regulations for self-paid COVID-19 tests that are open to the public" under the section titled "Guidelines on infection control in medical care institutions." Inside are the steps involved to request a self-paid test, the hospitals where tests can be taken, and the fees charged.
According to the CECC, the price of the self-paid tests at listed institutions are in accordance with Article 21 of the Medical Care Act (醫療法), which states that "The standards by which medical institutions collect fees for medical services shall be approved by competent municipal and county authorities." As these tests are not covered by health insurance, county and city authorities set the fees after they consider the opinions of the medical practitioners, refer to the medical facility level, implement a cost analysis, and account for market conditions in accordance with review procedures.
Currently, 84 hospitals across the country are offering self-paid coronavirus tests ranging in cost from NT$5,000 (US$175) to NT$7,000. In addition, 37 medical institutions provide rapid coronavirus tests with same-day results for a cost of NT$7,000 each.
The CECC pointed out that the cost of self-financed nucleic acid tests for COVID-19 varies from country to country. According to the information provided by the organization's overseas units, the price in the U.S. is approximately US$250, while the fee for comparable tests in the U.K. is approximately 130 GBP to 200 GBP (US$173 to US$267).
Tests in Japan range between about $25,000 to $50,000 JPY (US$238 to US$477). Therefore, the CECC concluded that the price of a coronavirus test in Taiwan is similar to fees seen in other countries.