While the question of free so-called “comfort” tests comes up regularly in debates on the health crisis, an Auscitain pharmacist testifies to his experience.
“Yes, those who asked me for a Covid test to go buy cigarettes at Bossost, or for a bachelor party in Spain, or whatever else, in fact, I warned them on the phone that they would have € 15 to pay. The pharmacist on Boulevard Sadi-Carnot, in Auch, speaks clearly and without discarding. For several days, comments have flourished, denouncing the fact that his dispensary charged for screening tests in some cases.
“It’s a crazy thing, defends the professional, quite disgusted. We had a recommendation from the ARS to take charge of the antigen test of symptomatic patients, official contact cases sent by Social Security, and unofficial, those who thought they had been in contact with a positive case. There were also people who took state competitions. “
The pharmacy concerned was one of the very first to carry out tests. “I trained and tested, when there was no protection. I even served as a guinea pig to train my staff! Since the 2020 confinement, I have not taken a vacation. I provide this service to the population, I vaccinate, and I run the pharmacy to pay my employees. “
Priority patients or not
The texts sent to pharmacists at the start of the tests distinguish between priority patients or not. It is up to the professional to estimate the need for the test if the patient is not a priority. There is no obligation. However, the pharmacist on Boulevard Carnot did not meet many unhappy people. But these made a lot of noise! “We are doing everything possible to help, in this period of epidemic, our work has made it possible, on our modest scale, to break chains of contamination. And there, three *** come to look for lice on the head! “
The phenomenon of “comfort” tests, requested by people who are not vaccinated, is recent. Until recently, 95% of applications fell within the ARS criteria. For the past two weeks, the public has been asking for tests to obtain the health passes necessary for access to festivals and holidays abroad. “I no longer charge for these tests since Tuesday,” explains the pharmacist. But the ARS did not communicate any information, while the state implemented the health pass on June 9. Why ? Perhaps the fear of too massive an influx? I, in any case, will take all requests from now on. “