Despite being the only government-run hospital which caters to people living in old Delhi and north Delhi, Aruna Asaf Ali Hospital runs without basic facilities for tests, including Liver Function Test (LFT), Kidney Function Test (KFT) or even ultrasound.
Patients’ families say they are given blood samples in vials, which they take to nearby hospitals to get tested. A large door, with “Ultrasound Room” inscribed on top, stands locked on the third floor. Hospital staff say the facility has not been available for a while.
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Contractor Adil Saifi brought in one of his employees to the hospital after he broke his leg in an accident. Currently in the ICU, the 20-year-old’s blood samples were handed over for “some tests”.
“Doctors asked us to get the tests done at St Stephen’s hospital. The tests were done on Friday and he was operated on Tuesday,” says Adil.
Vir Singh, 65, whose wife is admitted in the ICU, says he had to go to Tirathram Hospital to get blood her samples tested. “They charged a lot of money, but doctors said it was needed for the operation so we got it done,” he adds.
Staff at the hospital, however, say that the machines will be fixed soon. “We do medical check-ups and issue fitness certificates. The machines have not been working for a few days but we will get them fixed,” a pathology lab staff said.
Doctors, however, say it is “troublesome” to diagnose without proper facilities to conduct tests.
“It has been almost a month since we have conducted a test in the hospital. Patients blame us if we tell them that tests are to be done from other hospitals. But we cannot do anything if the machines are not functional,” a resident doctor says on condition of anonymity.
While the medical superintendent did not respond to calls, the deputy MS refused to comment.