Blood banks that don’t update data on the availability of blood units on the government’s e-portal will now stand to lose their licences and no objection certificates. With only half of the city’s 60 blood banks reporting data online, the Directorate of Health Services (DHS) has said that action will be initiated against those who don’t abide by the rules.
The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare had started e-Rakt Kosh to digitise and streamline the blood availability and reach across States. The purpose of the portal was to have a centralised blood bank management system and create a citizen-centric service. But in the State, only about 184 of the 341 blood banks registered with the State Blood Transfusion Council (SBTC) update information about their stock of blood units.
“Blood banks that are not using the e-Rakt Kosh should start making daily entries on the portal immediately,” Dr. Anup Kumar Yadav, head of the DHS, said in a review meeting held on May 14. The minutes of the meeting have been circulated to all blood banks along with Mr. Yadav’s remarks. He has advised that training programmes should be conducted for blood bank employees facing difficulties in working on the portal. He has asked the SBTC to take a review in a month, and if any blood banks are found not using e-Rakt Kosh, the Food and Drug Administration should cancel their licences, and their NOC should be cancelled too.
Mr. Yadav has told the blood banks not to overcharge for processing and testing of the blood and its components, and to prominently display the daily stock, and processing and testing charges at the bank.
Due to the ongoing vacation season, the city has been reeling under a blood shortage. The DHS chief, however, emphasised on discouraging the practice of replacement blood donation and said that interstate bulk transfer of blood and blood components should be avoided unless the need in Maharashtra is met.