SBTC to take action against 22 blood banks for overcharging

In a joint inspection carried out by State Blood Transfusion Council (SBTC) and Food and Drugs Administration (FDA), 22 blood banks were found conducting unnecessary blood tests

SBTC to take action against 22 blood banks for overcharging

Maharashtra State Blood Transfusion Council (SBTC) is all set to question as many as one-third of Mumbai’s blood banks for overcharging patients and conducting unnecessary blood tests and its by-products.

SBTC officials had planned to meet with the authorities of 22 blood banks — out of 61 in the state — on September 5 to discuss about the same but the plan has been postponed.

Recently, SBTC and Food and Drugs Administration (FDA) officers carried out a joint inspection of all the blood banks acting on the complaints filed by health activist Chetan Kothari on August 4, 2018.

Subhash Sone from SBTC said that the joint inspection report was submitted to the highest authority of the government of India. Considering the overcharging issues and blood being an essential component for surgery and medical procedures in the hospitals, it was decided to convene a meeting with 22 blood banks rather than shutting them down.

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Kothari, in his complaint, had mentioned that many of the blood banks conduct unnecessary tests on the blood and its by-products, which increases the cost multifold. He further mentioned that as per the government’s instruction, the charges are set at ₹1450 per blood unit, however, concerned blood banks, most of them connected to private hospitals, are charging anywhere between ₹1700-₹3500.

As per the FDA officials, the blood banks will not be shut down, but they will be imposed hefty fines or will ask them to refund the excess amount taken by patients.

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