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Funeral parlours demand payment for Covid-19 tests

by Staff reporter
03 Aug 2021 at 20:51hrs | Views
Some funeral parlours in Bulawayo are reportedly demanding payment to conduct Covid-19 tests on people who die at home.

But health officials say that is not the mandate of the funeral service providers.

A source who spoke on condition of anonymity said they were charged US$40 for a covid-19 test for their grandfather who died at home.

"My grandfather passed away at home since we had a funeral cover at Exodus, we had to contact them to take him to the mortuary," said the source.

"We were told to pay US$40 for the Covid-19 test but we didn't even receive the results."

The source said they only received a post-mortem report, "we didn't receive the covid-19 tests."

Contacted for a comment, an Exodus official who identified himself as Moyo dismissed the claims saying the amount was for a doctor's fee.

"When someone dies at home, there is money that is paid, that is the doctor's fee which is done by all funeral parlours to certify the death, but if someone dies at the hospital there is no doctor's fee, this money is not for Covid-19 test, even before Covid-19, it was paid," said Moyo

He said the Covid-19 test is also conducted by the doctor and the doctor's fee covers it.

Falakhe funeral services also confirmed that when someone dies at home they also demand the doctor's fee.

"Yes there is a doctor's fee when someone dies at home, that money does not belong to the parlour but it is for the doctor who certifies the papers, checks the body, the history of their illness," said a Falakhe representative.

Bulawayo Health Services Director, Dr Edwin Sibanda, said it is not the mandate of funeral parlours to conduct Covid-19 tests.

"We test everybody from unknown death cases brought to hospitals is all I can say," said Dr Sibanda.

Acting Bulawayo Provincial Medical Director, Dr Welcome Mlilo also said the health authorities are the ones who conduct Covid-19 tests for sudden community deaths.

"No, parlours don't do Covid-19 testing, that would be highly irregular," said Dr Mlilo.

"Parlors can liaise and the body is tested at the central hospitals," he said.

Source - cite.org.zw

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