The institute has offered its services to the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) with regard to the costing of the Covid-19 tests amidst the rising cost of resources involved the testing protocols.
“…the challenge for any country around the world today is to carry out coronavirus tests for its population at affordable cost. The challenge is particularly acute given the rising cost of resources involved with the testing protocols,” ICMAI president CMA Balwinder Singh said in a letter to ICMR director general Balram Bhargava.
“The Institute of Cost Accountants of India will be pleased to offer its services on a voluntary basis to ICMR with regard to the costing of the coronavirus tests to be carried out by the government or private pathological laboratories,” Singh said.
The letter comes in the backdrop of the Supreme Court on Monday ordering free testing of coronavirus only to for the poorest. The court had ordered all coronavirus tests to be made free last week. Earlier, the government looked at keeping the price of Covid-19 tests by private labs at Rs 4,500.
Cost accountants can play an important role in determining the true cost of tests thereby determining a fair fee.
The government has put healthcare services under the ambit of the maintenance of Cost Records and Audit under the Companies (Cost Records and Audit) Rules 2014 issued by the Ministry of Corporate Affairs, also covering thereby trading and supply of medical devices. Hence, the members of the Institute, known as Cost and Management Accountants, are well versed with the nitty-gritty of the healthcare business.
The Institute has also come out with a series of Cost Accounting Standards and Generally Accepted Cost Accounting Principles, which has been embedded in the Companies (Cost Records and Audit) Rules 2014 issued by the Ministry of Corporate Affairs, which enable a principle based approach for computing costs.
“With the given background, the Institute offers its support to the ICMR in finding ways to deal with the costing of COVID-19 tests so that more and more tests can be carried out by the laboratories on optimum cost,” Singh said in the letter offering the support of the institute.