Private providers of coronavirus testing in Jersey could soon be regulated.

It follows the opening of a drive-through testing facility by Orchid Care Services.

Deputy Kirsten Morel is calling for a formal regulatory regime to be set up to cover the quality, supply and use of any tests, whether for showing somebody currently has Covid-19 (PCR or swab tests) or for those that show if they’ve previously had it (antibody or serology testing).

If the plan is approved by politicians during their 16 June sitting, the Health Minister will be obliged to bring forward new legislation for debate within a fortnight.

It is, of course, understandable that private suppliers will seek to fill the void created by the Government of Jersey’s failure to implement on-demand or Island-wide testing, a situation which has a number of causes, many of which are outside of the Government’s control. The fact that the Government is not able to provide something that is in demand by Islanders does not automatically mean that the private sector is in a position to fulfil that demand, and given the reported lack of consistency in the effectiveness and safety of Covid-19 ‘test kits’, it is important that Islanders do not find themselves in a situation where they are paying for tests which may be neither effective nor accurate.

Deputy Kirsten Morel

Orchid Care Services are regulated as a care provider by the Jersey Care Commission.