The ‘good lessons’ Australia should learn from the UK and Singapore about rapid antigen tests
A Melbourne doctor who was among the first to begin testing for COVID-19 says Australia should look abroad for “good lessons” about rapid antigen tests (RATs).
With new COVID-19 testing protocols now in place, RATs play a key role in testing regimes.
Deputy chair of the Australian General Practice Alliance, Dr Mukesh Haikerwal, says Australia should follow the lead of the UK and Singapore, which have both made rapid tests free.
“That means people can do what is being asked of them … and they’re not out of pocket every single time they do it,” he told Shane McInnes, filling in for Neil Mitchell.
“We need to make sure we do this in a sensible way. We need to make sure it’s accessible.
“We’re putting a lot of hope and putting a lot of our new standards against the RATs, so let’s make them available.”
Dr Haikerwal says the tests are a “really useful” part of a successful testing system.
“If you’re positive (on a RAT) you’re about 95 to 97 per cent likely to be positive, if you’re negative you’re about 70 per cent likely to be negative, so keep an eye out and do it again,” he said.