Antigen testing opened up to market with controls, says BHeC
Changes to the Covid-19 “fit to fly” regulations to open up the market to the private sector have been announced.
The Bermuda Health Council has updated the rules on antigen testing for the coronavirus.
Ricky Brathwaite, the CEO of the BHeC, said: “This is an opportunity for more eligible entities to participate in the important work of supervised antigen testing …
“While this opens up the market, it will be strictly regulated to ensure fair pricing for consumers and require accurate documentation of test results and testing inventory for timely public health decision making.
“As a regulator, the health council will not allow this recovery phase of the ongoing global crisis to become an unchecked platform for pandemic profiteering or for expanding health disparities and inequity in healthcare access – especially as we face strong economic headwinds, high costs of healthcare, and social hardships everywhere.”
The approval form for supervised antigen tests has been rewritten and the process for administration of tests and issuing fit to fly certificates will be added to the regulations.
The BHeC said the process would be “strictly regulated” to ensure fair pricing.
A BHeC spokeswoman said that healthcare providers would have to be a registered clinical lab, have a documented relationship agreement with one or ask for a waiver from a lab affiliation.
She added: “The health council emphasises only registered healthcare professionals in registered local health facilities, or registered Covid-19 laboratory facilities are authorised to administer supervised rapid antigen tests and interpret their results for the purpose of providing certified supervised results or issue fit-to-fly certification.
“Further, rapid antigen test kits to be administered in Bermuda must align to those on the Bermuda market authorised listing.”