EK: Make coronavirus tests free for all

The Confederation of Finnish Industries wants free testing introduced on public health grounds.

Epidemiologist testing samples / Credit: iStock

The Confederation of Finnish Industries EK is urging the government to treat coronavirus in the same way other common widespread illnesses like measles and salmonella, and make testing free for everyone.

EK says that free tests even at private clinics would be in the interests of equality as it allows people with symptoms to get a Covid-19 test without having occupational health coverage through their employer.

“Extending testing to all symptomatic workers would be essential for society” says Auli Rytivaara a physician with EK.

“This is also an occupational safety issue, as employers must guarantee a safe and healthy workplace for all their employees” she adds.

The strategy of public health providers is to give Covid-19 tests to people in high risk groups when they develop symptoms – such as elderly people, those with underlying health conditions or health workers, or anyone who presents with sever symptoms of coronavirus.

However, private healthcare providers are also offering tests at a cost to anyone with symptoms. The price of these tests might be covered by workplace health insurance, or people can pay themselves for the testing.

The Finnish Institute of Health and Welfare THL says they have so far carried out more than 36,500 tests, and hope to increase testing capacity to around 4,000 tests each day in the coming weeks.