The microbiology unit of Colombo National Hospital remains inactive for two months now.
This incurs a monthly cost of up to Rs. 30 million for around 10,000 tests that have to be sent to private laboratories.
Health trade unionist Ravi Kumudesh said the halted tests at the unit include urine, sputum and sensitivity to antibiotics.
The minimum charge at private laboratories for any of these tests is Rs. 3,000, he said.
Patients with financial constraints do without these tests, which aggravates their illnesses into hospitalization.
At the hospital, they have to be given antibiotics intravenously, instead of orally, causing more costs unnecessarily, said Kumudesh.
He alleged commissions of between 20 and 40 per cent change hands when these tests are sent to private laboratories.
Deputy director of the CNH Dr. Rukshan Bellana rejected the allegations.