The Health Board (Terviseamet) has concluded a potential €100-million contract for coronavirus testing through to year-end.
The procurement was awarded to private sector firms Medicum and Synlab, who had been providing testing services for the state through much of the pandemic in any case.
Health Board Director General Üllar Lanno, said the new round of procurement was sparked by the preceding one, signed when it was unclear whether the virus was a temporary phenomenon or not, coming to an end.
"The coronavirus is here to stay. Therefore, it is necessary to ensure sufficient testing capacity to find the virus, because without a proper overview of the situation, it is not possible to control the spread of the disease," Lanno said.
OÜ Medicum Eriarstiabi and Synlab Eesti made a joint bid, which proved successful after the State Shared Services Center (RTK) awarded the contract, whose terms could reach €100 million and were very wide-ranging, the RTK says.
The RTK's head of procurement Riina Loorpuu said:"The selected provider must be able to perform coronavirus testing across Estonia, establish and service sampling sites, provide a mobile sampling brigade service for testing at a patient's home and, if necessary, form a special brigade for testing in nursing homes and other institutions. The contract also includes the transport and analysis of samples and the communication of results to patients."
Under the terms of the agreement, test results must be available within 48 hours of taking a test and, if the result is positive, the individual must be contacted by the testing center.
Testing is still largely done by family doctor referral and test results either way must be sent back to this medical professional, as well as to the Health Board and its information system.
Those who have crossed the Estonian border to enter the country, including foreign nationals, will receive a text message in the event of a negative COVID-19 test result.
Editor: Andrew Whyte