To carry out any CT scan, the doctors are now allegedly referring patients to nearby diagnostic centres, where patients have to pay more than double the money to have their tests done.
The reason, patients claim, is a hefty commission that doctors get from these centres.
The situation is also proving to be extremely difficult for patients who are not in any condition to be moved to a separate diagnostic facility away from the hospital.
A computerized tomography (CT) scan combines a series of x-ray images and creates cross-sectional images, or slices, of the bones, blood vessels and soft tissues inside the body. The scan allows doctors to see inside the object without cutting.
The CT scan machine at KMCH is manufactured by Siemens and had been operating at the hospital since 2009. The machine started to show problems in January this year and completely broke down in February.
SM Altaf Hossain, who is in charge of the hospital's laboratory department, said the machine's control box had broken down. Technicians from Siemens have asked for Tk48 lakh for repairs, and in reply the KMCH authorities have asked to reduce the price, he said.
The necessary parts would be brought in from Germany once the Health Ministry okays the request and the Health Directorate issues a work order, Altaf said, adding that the entire process might take a few more weeks.
But in the meantime, patients say they are the ones who continue to suffer and pay the extra price.
Ashraf-ul-Alam, a resident of Khulna city's Gilatola, said his father was admitted to the hospital on May 9 with different ailments including brain and heart diseases, diabetes and asthma.
The following day, a doctor came and asked Ashraf to take his father to the nearby Mohanagar Diagnostic Centre for a CT scan. When he asked what was wrong with the hospital's machine, the doctor replied that it had broken down.
Different sources told the Dhaka Tribune that the KMCH used to charge between Tk2,000 to Tk5,000 for a CT scan at the hospital; but diagnostic centres in Khulna city charge between Tk4,000 to Tk15,000 for the same tests.
DM Reza Shohag, who also had to go outside the hospital for a CT scan, claimed that the doctors were earning commissions by referring patients to different diagnostic centres.
Meanwhile, KMCH Director Dr Ananda Mohan Saha said higher authorities at the Health Directorate have been notified and a tender has been floated. He expressed hopes that the problem would be solved soon.