Thursday, April 18, 2013

Blood allocation to public hospitals: HC reserves order

AHMEDABAD: Gujarat high court on Thursday reserved its decision on a demand that private blood banks should deposit certain portion of blood collected through donations with either public or charitable hospitals. This was an interim relief sought in the PIL.

Petitioner Ashok Naik through advocate Parth Contractor has filed a PIL questioning the profiteering by private blood bank by sale of blood and its like plasma at a high rate after collecting blood free of cost. He has demanded strict implementation of the laws so that the blood supply becomes regular to hospitals and people do not have to shell out huge amount for the same.

The petitioner on Thursday objected to the proposals made by some blood banks for setting up of a committee to form guidelines. Public prosecutor Prakash Jani submitted that various existing laws should be followed for collection and supply of blood and the needy should get the service. There was also a demand by certain blood banks that specific banks should be restricted from collecting blood from beyond a prescribed 100 kilometre distance. Prathama Blood Centre has been accused of collecting blood from residents of areas as far as border district of Kutch.

The details sought by the HC from 142 private blood banks and from 52 that sell plasma reveal that in last three years, the banks sold blood collecting Rs 11.35 crore to drug manufacturing companies. Of this, eight blood banks have made 60% of total business and Prathama's sell is nearly 25% of total blood sale to pharmaceutical companies.

When the figures of sale of plasma by private blood banks were found running into crore, senior counsel Jani submitted that there should be a system so that the amount generated from plasma sale can be ploughed back in the blood collection and distribution activities so that the donors and the end users get benefits, and that the high profiteering can be eliminated. The HC would continue proceedings on this issue after deciding on the interim relief sought for.

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