Calls for free rapid antigen tests grow louder

The statement calls for rapid antigen tests to be made free to all, and not just a tax deductibility (Bigstock)

Charities, community health groups and unions are ramping up the fight to make rapid antigen tests free, arguing the current distribution model that relies on private retail sales is “not fit for purpose”. Source: Pro Bono News.

In a joint statement, released on Monday, the group pleaded for free and accessible rapid antigen tests (RATs) to be made available for the entire community, rather than just tax deductions for COVID tests, which the Morrison Government announced last week.

They said that the move to large scale RAT testing had been beset with problems including reliance on market forces to ration inadequate supply, slow delivery, the PCR testing system collapsing under the weight of overwhelming demand, and price gouging from elements of the retail distribution network.

Catholic signatories to the statement include Catholic Social Services Australia, Catholic Religious Australia, Jesuit Social Services and the St Vincent de Paul Society.

The groups, which also include the Australian Council for Social Services and the Australian Council of Trade Unions, argued the existing concessional access scheme had not done enough to allow all Australians to access tests when they need them.

The group also criticised the Government’s decision to make National Disability Insurance Scheme participants use their core funding to purchase RATs for themselves and their support workers.

FULL STORY

Calls for free rapid antigen tests ramp up (By Maggie Coggan, Pro Bono News)

Joint statement on the need for free and accessible rapid antigen tests to protect public health and the economic recovery (ACOSS) 

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