"Private hospitals and blood banks should collect only the establishment cost from those taking blood," said Arvind Limbavali, Minister for Health and Family Welfare

Arvind Limbavali, Minister for Health and Family Welfare, on Monday said the government would direct private hospitals and blood banks not to sell blood collected from donors.

Speaking at a function to mark National Voluntary Blood Donation Day here, Mr. Limbavali said that people donate blood to help needy patients, but the trend of selling donated blood was on the rise.

The government would have to curb this practice, he said.

“It has hurt the sentiments of many blood donors. Private hospitals and blood banks should collect only the establishment cost from those taking blood,” he said.

The Minister said there had not been instances of shortage of blood for the past two years in the State. “As there is a shortage of AB positive and AB negative blood groups, steps are being taken to preserve blood in these groups,” Mr. Limbavali said.

The government was taking steps to set up blood banks in seven districts, including Koppal and Yadgir, he said.

Inaugurating the programme, Governor H.R. Bhardwaj said there was a rise in the number of illegal blood banks. Blood donation should not become a business and people should not donate blood for money. Mr. Bhardwaj asked students to cultivate the habit of blood donation and gave his own example.

“I have donated blood for over 50 times, a habit which I inculcated during my student days,” he said.

M. Madan Gopal, Principal Secretary, Health and Family Welfare, was present.

The event was organised by National Aids Control Organisation, Karnataka Aids Prevention Society, Karnataka State Blood Transfusion Council, Health and Family Welfare Department, Indian Red Cross Society and Bangalore University.