BP Koirala Institute of Health Sciences closes lab services after reagent shortageThe laboratory at the hospital has not been able to test samples for the last three months.
The Dharan-based BP Koirala Institute of Health Sciences (BPKIHS) has stopped laboratory services due to a lack of the reagent used in lipid profile tests.
The laboratory at the hospital has not been able to perform even simple tests such as iron profile and stool tests for the last three months.
The hospital is a major health institution in Province 1.
According to the hospital data, its laboratory receives around 3,000 to 3,500 samples for various tests every day. Among them, at least 30 percent are for lipid profile tests.
“We have closed the service for a week due to the shortage of reagent for lipid profile. We will resume the service once the reagent is supplied,” said Rajendra Chaudhary, who is in charge of the diagnostic unit at the BPKIHS.
“I have been informed that the reagent arrived at Tribhuvan International Airport in Kathmandu but the cargo is stuck at the airport due to some issues concerning paperwork at the customs office,” said Chaudhary. “The hospital administration had been informed about the limited supply of reagents three months ago.”
Nine years ago, the then vice-chancellor Balbhadra Das and his team had signed a contract with Diagnotech Support Pvt Ltd in Kathmandu for the supply of reagents for five years. The contract ended over four years ago. But until three months ago, the hospital was still purchasing reagents from the same company.
In the agreement with Sushil Thapa, operator of the company, a biochemistry analyser machine was provided free of cost to the hospital for five years.
The existing biochemistry analyser machine can give only 300 lab test reports per hour. According to Chaudhary, the limited capacity of the machine delays lab tests despite technicians working overnight.
Since the machine is old, the hospital spends around Rs 2 million annually on repairs, according to Chaudhary.
BPKIHS had invited a tender three years ago to purchase a new biochemistry analyser machine and buy its reagents at a cheaper rate. But the bidding process was never completed.