Free COVID-19 Testing for Healthcare Workers

Covid-19: The Independent Community Pharmacy Association (ICPA) together with various partners, are offering free testing to frontline healthcare workers

Media Statement from the Independent Community Pharmacy Association of South Africa (ICPA) on FREE Covid-19 testing for frontline healthcare workers

The Solidarity Fund has approved a grant to cover 36 000 Covid-19 tests for clinical and non-clinical healthcare workers (HCW) in both the state and private sectors. The referral of HCWs will be facilitated through the Vula Mobile App. Eligible HCWs would be symptomatic or have experienced a high-risk exposure and not have medical insurance benefits available to cover the cost of the test.  Once referred the HCW will be able to select a testing site at a participating pharmacy or GP’s practice which is convenient for them.

The decanting of HCWs Covid-19 testing out of State facilities will not only offer the HCW a prioritised testing service in the private sector, but the resultant reduction in test volume through the State laboratory services (NHLS) should ensure prioritisation of state patient testing with a faster result turnaround time for the patient.

Two national laboratories have partnered with ICPA with a capacity of over 3000 tests per day if required and a guaranteed test turnaround time of less than 48 hours. The service is supported by several companies who have offered their services pro-bono in support of the dedicated healthcare workers who work on the frontline to take care of communities. MediKredit and Universal Health are offering their claiming and payment systems. Medinformer has agreed to send critical isolation protocols and information to HCWs that test positive. Clickatell has donated 36 000 free SMSs to forward the testing vouchers to HCWs that test positive.

“We have experienced a wonderful example of “Ubuntu” as companies have come on board to take care of our valued healthcare workers,” says Jackie Maimin, CEO ICPA. “We have a seamless prioritised service which is convenient and will get our HCWs back at work as quickly as possible by avoiding long quarantine time while they wait for test results. This will benefit our HCWs and ultimately all of their patients.”

The programme kicks off on the 1st of September 2020 and will run for 3 months. Eligible healthcare workers can access the referral system via Vula Mobile App or contact ICPA at or call 021-671 4473.

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