Covid-19 PCR tests available at approved private clinics from Dec 1
From today, anyone who needs a Covid-19 polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test will be able to get one from an approved private clinic.
Those seeking tests could include companies and people requiring pre-departure testing before travel. The latter group will no longer be required to seek approval from the Ministry of Health for such a test.
Before this, members of the public who were not unwell and did not need to meet specific testing requirements, such as pre-departure and pre-event testing, could not request to get tested for the coronavirus.
Health Minister Gan Kim Yong had said on Nov 10 that the expanded testing availability is part of efforts to support a larger range of needs as Singapore resumes more economic and community activities.
The list of approved testing partners can be found at go.gov.sg/covid19pcrtestproviders
Those who request tests at these providers under the new arrangements will have to call the clinic ahead of time to book an appointment for their swab.
They will also have to pay for the tests, which will not be subsidised.
Mr Gan said: "We hope that through making available testing capacity from the private sector, there will be competition and more supplies available.
"And by doing so, we will ensure that the price they offer will be competitive, and that (it) will reflect the true cost of the test."
Doctors told The Straits Times they would be charging rates of about $200, including GST, for the test.
Dr Dale Lim, family physician at The Tenteram Clinic in Toa Payoh, said he is not expecting an increase in demand for the tests until more people need to travel.
However, Dr Aziz Noordin, a family physician at Tampines Family Medicine Clinic, said his clinic has stocked up on kits in anticipation of a rise in demand.
This will come as more people begin to take part in activities such as clubbing and social events as Singapore opens up, he said.
Meanwhile, Healthway Medical Group has made testing available at 38 clinics, up from five in August.