Extreme situations create extreme profit opportunities. In the case of the coronavirus, it is the exorbitant prices for the test when conducted in private hospitals and diagnostic centers. Several Greeks reported on social media that the average price sums up to €290, when in the public hospitals one is charged with just 40 euros.
A coronavirus test is combined with one for the seasonal flu to exclude each other.
A journalist who returned from Turkey went to a private hospital in south Athens to have a coronavirus test as a precaution measure. He was asked to pay a total of €290. Shocked by the price, he left without the test but with a post on Facebook.
An internet user posted a picture of the bill he paid for the test combo: Flu A & B = €70 and Coronavirus = €140. Added is also the fee for the doctor, another 70 euros. Not to forget the additional charge for sterile material.
A friend, currently in a private hospital with pneumonia, was tested negative both for flu and coronavirus. He was charged €150 for corona test and €75 for the flu test as both are not covered by the private insurance company.
It seems that even the public insurance funds do not cover the expense for the coronatest, at least if we want to believe notes on social media. Public hospitals charge 40 euros, some Greeks wrote.
It is also not clear, whether all public hospitals throughout the country have been supplied with corona test kits.
Test results normally come out in 6-8 hours.
Private microbiology labs told media, that the flu test costs from 15 to 30 euros, depending on the quality of the kit.
They are not authorized, though, to conduct coronavirus tests that were only conducted at reference centers/hospitals with the blood samples sent to the Pasteur Institute.
It is worth noting that private hospitals may conduct the corona virus test if a patient goes with “suspicious symptoms.” However, they transfer the patients to designated public hospitals if tests turn positive. So far, they have no isolation facilities to treat coronavirus infections.
If the situation gets out of control, though, the public health care system plans to make use of beds in Intensive Care Units of private hospitals, media report.