A CUMNOCK GP has defended his private clinic’s selling of coronavirus test kits.

Doctor Awfa Paulina, who practices at Tanyard Muirkirk Medical Group, is the director of Clinica Medica which is offering what is described as a ‘Home test kit COVID-19’.

Responding to criticism, Dr Paulina said that his clinic is offering the £274 kit, which is processed by a lab in England, for the good of the community.

He told the Chronicle: “There are people who are essential workers and who have others at home who are shielded, and if they start to develop symptoms they are worried they will bring COVID-19 home.

“There are also freelance doctors, who if they develop symptoms will have to self-isolate for seven days, and they are not tested by the NHS.”

Dr Paulina believes that by offering the test these particular people can continue working or return to work safely.

He told the Chronicle that Clinica Medica makes no money from the sale of the test kit, and that they negotiated an even cheaper price

for the benefit of the community.

The GP said: “We have done our bit to negotiate, because we do not want to profiteer from adversity.

“We hope people understand there are people who need it.”

He said that a taxi company had bought several tests for its employees to also insure they were safe to work.

However, commenting on the sale of coronavirus test kits to members of the public, Dr Carey Lunan, Chair of the Royal College of GPs Scotland said: “We need a national effort to tackle COVID-19 with the needs of patients and NHS staff being put over the opportunity to make profit from the crisis.

“The NHS needs all the testing kits it can possibly get, so that it can prioritise them for the people that need them most. We are encouraged that the Scottish Government has plans to rapidly scale up coronavirus testing, with health and social care staff and their families prioritised within this.

“Such testing is vital in ensuring that those who are self-isolating, if found not to have COVID-19, are able to return to frontline patient care where we know many would prefer to be.

“These tests will also be able to provide reliable results for those who need them most, whereas we cannot be sure that private tests meet the same rigorous quality assurance standards.

“The possibility of false positive or false negative tests is a concern in a less regulated testing environment.”

The test kits sold by Dr Paulina’s business, which is based in Glasgow, are processed by Better2Know, the UK’s largest private provider of sexual health testing services.

Clinica Medica’s webpage for the test kit states: “Order your test now to protect your health and that of others around you.”

Doctor Paulina said he

had not approved these words and he will look into it and have it deleted.

He told the Chronicle that the clinic had refused to sell the test to certain customers because they believed it would be inappropriate for them.

He said: “I personally endorse, stay at home, self-isolate, protection is the best way forward.”