Mumbai Blood Banks Under Scrutiny: Reminder Issued For Free Blood Units To Thalassemia Centres

Mumbai Blood Banks Under Scrutiny: Reminder Issued For Free Blood Units To Thalassemia Centres

The Maharashtra Blood Transfusion Council has linked thalassemia day care centres to two-three private blood banks in the vicinity while ordering that the centres are entitled to get free blood for disorders such as thalassemia, haemophilia and sickle cell.

Swapnil MishraUpdated: Saturday, November 25, 2023, 03:00 PM IST
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Mumbai Blood Banks Under Scrutiny: Reminder Issued For Free Blood Units To Thalassemia Centres | Representative Photo

Mumbai: The Maharashtra Blood Transfusion Council has sent a reminder to blood banks linked with 14 thalassemia day care centres to submit a report, detailing how many free of cost units have been given to the centres. The action comes after the Council found that many blood banks turned a blind eye to the government resolution (GR), asking them to provide free blood units to such facilities. Just a few of the blood banks followed the Council's previous directive of submitting the report. “We have reminded the blood banks to give details and a penalty of Rs1,000 will be levied on them if they fail to do so,” said a Council official.

The Council has linked thalassemia day care centres to two-three private blood banks in the vicinity while ordering that the centres are entitled to get free blood for disorders such as thalassemia, haemophilia and sickle cell. However, several requests are usually turned away by private banks. “We take all measures to provide free blood to patients who are suffering blood disorders, but we noticed that the blood banks give less than 40% of their collection to thalassemia day care centres. Many banks have not even given a single unit of blood,” said the official.

Several Blood Banks Linked With Thalassemia Centres To Ensure Blood Supply

Effectively, 17 thalassemia centres, mostly in public medical colleges, have been linked with 47 blood banks to ensure that patients don’t have to run around for blood. As per the plan, St George Hospital’s thalassemia unit has been linked to Jaslok and Bombay Hospitals' blood banks, which would have to provide 25-20 bags, respectively, every month. JJ Hospital’s thalassemia day care centre has been linked with the blood banks of SRCC, Prince Aly Khan and Breach Candy hospitals. All have to provide 10 bags each.

According to a senior officer working in a government blood bank, private blood banks don't want to face loss by providing blood units for free. Though the Council is taking several measures, the patients have to run from pillar to post in arranging blood units, underlined the officer. “No private blood bank wants to give blood free of cost as this would mean monetary loss. The Council, Food and Drug Administration and the public health department know that, but they are not acting even after the issuance of the GR. This is an old problem which needs to be redressed,” he said

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