Poor patients at the Lok Nayak hospital are being forced to shell out Rs 400-800 for thyroid tests as the hospital's medicine laboratory has been without thyroid testing kits for the past two months.
The hospital said that an order for the kits has been placed and free testing will be available soon.
The thyroid uptake machine used for complex endocrinology tests for thyroid, bone, kidney and whole body scans, has never been used since it was procured for Rs 25 lakh in 2009. Apart from AIIMS and Institute of Nuclear Medicine and Allied Sciences, Lok Nayak is the only government hospital that has such machine.
"The machine is functional but we need a licence and a radiation safety officer before we use it. We have applied for the licence, and are awaiting clearance from the Atomic Energy Regulatory Board," said Dr Richa Diwan, medical superintendant, Lok Nayak.
"Barring the scans, we are doing all other tests for the IVF and gynaecology departments. Since these laboratories are primarily meant for research, Maulana Azad Medical College — which is our academic wing — has placed an order for the kits. Government hospitals follow a tendering process for procurement of equipment, which sometimes takes time," said Dr Diwan.