Amidst the rising complaints against blood banks for overcharging or violating the guidelines of the National Blood Transfusion Council and State Blood Transfusion Council, the Maharashtra government, on Wednesday, issued notification to take action against such blood banks and increase penalty for non compliance.
State Public Health Principal Secretary Dr Pradeep Vyas, in a notification, admitted that the government has received complaints with regard to blood bank’s refusal to give blood to thalassemia patients, recovery of processing fee from such patients, not displaying daily bloodstock on websites and above all overcharging for plasma bags against the stipulated price. He argued that a notification recommending stern action against erring blood banks was necessary, as there are no provisions in the State Blood Transfusion Council’s business rules. The government has, therefore, decided to take punitive action against such blood banks.
If blood banks overcharge the processing fees, then they will have to pay five times the fixed charges. They will have to return the extra money to the patients and the remaining is to be deposited with the State Blood Transfusion Council. If blood banks charge processing fees for thalassemia and other listed patients, they will be charged fine three times.
If blood banks refuse to give blood despite being in storage, then they will be payable for a fine of Rs 1,000 and return back the processing fee to the patients. Further, they will be charged Rs 500 fine for not filling up necessary information on their websites.