Union govt to state: Give blood for free

Most public health facilities in states do not charge any cost for blood, they are collecting processing charges at varying rates ranging from Rs 50/unit of blood to Rs 1050/unit of blood. These processing charges not only add to Out-Of-Pocket Expenditure (OOPE) at point of care to patients but also discourages voluntary donation as there is misconception that blood banks are collecting charges on blood donated free of cost. Owing to which, the government of India has instructed all states/UTs to ensure that patients receive blood, after due processing, free of cost

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  • There is no substitute for human blood. It cannot be manufactured and humans are the only source of blood for those who need this life-saving fluid.
  • Reducing OOPE is the key objective of National Health Mission (NHM). So, this measure will provide immense relief to patients across the country in public health facilities by reducing OOPE at point of care.
  • This will also encourage voluntary blood donation needed to augment blood supply.

Bloodline blood bank, Thane, is a blood component separation unit. Dr Sheetal Jain said, “The decision which has been taken is good for the patients but the government should provide adequate manpower, funding and technology to make sure that blood banks process blood and give it free of cost.”

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Speaking to My Medical Mantra, Dr Harish Warbhe of Lifeline Blood Bank, Nagpur said, “The government’s decision is for the patient’s benefit. The blood banks charge for blood checking and processing. If this money will not be charged then, the private blood banks will face problems. So, if this is applicable for the private blood banks then the government should take necessary steps.”

Dr Ganesh from Sir JJ Group of Hospitals said, “Blood is given free of cost in the government hospitals. The decision is good if the blood will be provided free of cost in the private hospitals.”