The Shadow Minister for Better Public Services, Sophie Cotsis has called for the NSW Government to immediately introduce a simple reimbursement system through Service NSW for anyone charged a fee in relation to COVID testing.
While the NSW Government announced that all COVID tests are free, receipts provided by members of the public have shown that people are being asked to pay a ‘referral fee’ for COVID tests.
“Despite the claims of the Berejiklian Government that COVID tests are free people have been charged an unnecessary referral fee and that should be immediately reimbursed,” Ms Cotsis said.
“Anyone charged a fee related to a COVID test should be able to present their receipt at a Service NSW centre and be fully reimbursed.”
Unknown for how long or how many people have been charged referral fees, Sophie Cotsis has called for testing providers to provide records of those charges to Service NSW within 21 days so that all reimbursements can be processed.
Organisations that do not provide their records should be removed from the list of testing centres.
“People who have been forced to pay an unnecessary referral fee aren’t interested in the ‘naming and shaming’ being threatened by the Health Minister. They want their money back,” Ms Cotsis said.
“If you have paid a fee you deserve a speedy, straightforward system of reimbursement to make up for the inconvenience you have already experienced.
“The NSW Government must also take steps to make sure that unnecessary charging or price gouging does not continue with the roll-out of the vaccine or the ongoing requirement to wear face masks.
“At all times there must be confidence that when the NSW Government directs or encourages people to take a test or wear a mask that all possible steps have been taken to stop organisations trying to make money off the situation.”