A voluntary blood donor has decided to write a letter against non-government blood banks that force relatives of patients to purchase blood bags from the hospital’s blood banks where the patient is admitted.According to Zahid Khambatti, a voluntary blood donor, relatives of patients are charged extra and forced to purchase blood bags and other blood components from the hospital where the patient is admitted, instead of letting them bring blood bags from outside. Khambatti has discussed the issue with an official from the State Blood Transfusion Council (SBTC).Khambatti said, “Saifee Hospital in Charni Road charged a bypass surgery patient to buy blood bags from the hospital’s blood bank even when the patient was willing to buy the blood bags from outside. When a blood bag is purchased from the hospital where the patient is admitted, he has to shell out more money.” However, Saifee Hospital’s blood transfusion officer (BTO) denied the information. Dr Ainy Choonia said, “We are not forcing anybody to buy from our blood bank. They directly communicate with the consultant about the requirements and it is arranged accordingly.”As per a Right To Information (RTI) reply, 34 non-government blood banks that collect more than 2,000 units of blood have a shortage of BTOs. According to SBTC, every shift requires one BTO and one extra for camps.RTI activist, Chetan Kothari, said, “FDA has taken action against almost all corporation and government blood banks for shortage of staff but are not willing to take action against non-government blood banks. The list of violators includes big hospitals like Lilavati, Jaslok, and Breach Candy hospital.”

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Bloody business: Pvt blood banks irk donor