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Fines to be imposed on blood banks in Maharashtra for overcharging

The decision was taken by the state health department after these blood banks has overcharged patients for their service. As per reports, they will be fined up to five times the processing fee and the excess amount will be returned to the patients.

Fines to be imposed on blood banks in Maharashtra for overcharging
SHARES

Maharashtra state health department, on Friday, December 4, decided to take punitive action against blood banks in the state. As per reports, these blood banks will be fined up to five times the processing fee for exceeding the prescribed processing fee. Furthermore, officials have also decided that the extra charges will be refunded to the patients. 

Principal Secretary Dr Pradeep Vyas also stated that the Director of State Blood Transfusion Council has been declared as the competent officer for this action. Complaints of frequent misconduct by various blood banks in the state are being received through various statements, and are being received regarding non-donation of blood to thalassemia patients, non-payment of processing fee from them, non-display of daily stock on the website, as well as charging an exorbitant amount for plasma.

Keeping the same in mind, the department has decided that taking strict action against the activities will resolve the issue, as private blood banks, over the last few weeks, have been charging exorbitant amounts for blood and plasma, and the amount has been more that of the prescribed rate by the National and State councils.

Reports state that if the processing fee is more than the procedure fee prescribed by the National Blood Transfusion Council or State Blood Transfusion Council or the government, the banks will be imposed with a penalty will be five times more than the processing fee charged. The surcharge will be refunded to the patient and the balance will be credited to the State Blood Transfusion Council account.

Banks offering service for thalassemia, haemophilia, sickle cell and other blood-related illnesses will be fined three times the processing fee if they are found guilty despite an ID card being issued by the State Blood Transfusion Council. Of these, the processing fee will be refunded to the concerned patient and the remaining amount will be credited to the account of the State Blood Transfusion Council.

The department has stated that failure to distribute blood to patients with the above-mentioned illnesses, without any compelling reason, despite the blood being available shall result in a penalty of INR 1000 plus the processing fee. Meanwhile, failure to update e-Blood Cell and State Blood Transfusion Council website will result in a penalty of INR 1000 per day, and failure to provide the required information from the blood bank on the website of the State Blood Transfusion Council, or if the information provided is not up-to-date, shall result in a penalty of INR 500 per day for the period after the prescribed period.

The concerned blood bank will be given an opportunity to present their case by giving notice before the action is taken. In case of repeated violation of guidelines and instructions, the Department of Food and Drug Administration (FDA) will be informed about the revocation of licenses of such blood banks.

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