HSE confirms weekend Covid-19 tests are free amid reports of GPs charging

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Digital Desk staff

Tests and GP assessments for Covid-19 should be free of charge, including out of hours consultations, according to the HSE.

The clarification comes amid reports of patients being charged for Covid-19 testing over the weekend, including a post widely shared on Twitter which reported a person being charged €50 for a weekend test.

The Times also reported today that some GP services have been charging for consultations for Covid-19 tests, contrary to health service guidelines.

The Twitter post came from a journalist who reported an instance of a person developing Covid-19 symptoms and contacting a doctor for assessment.

The person was referred for a test but charged €50 over the phone, reportedly due to the fact it was a Saturday.

Concerns have been raised that this cost will delay people making contact with GPs over the weekends or out of hours.

In a statement, the Health Service Executive confirmed rapid access to coronavirus testing is a fundamental part of its strategy to monitor the spread of Covid-19 in Ireland.

It says an agreement with GP representatives was extended in June to include out of hours services, in order for the public to avail of free assessments and tests.

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