While only three out of nine proposed blood-on-call centres in Mumbai are functional, the authority is planning to add another 68 blood storage centres in the state. Forty per cent of these centres are to be set up in Mumbai, Nagpur, Pune and Thane.
Blood Bank at St George’s Hospital
Senior officials of SBTC confirmed that the scheme is slated to widen its periphery to provide blood on doorstep by merely dialing 104. Under the National Health Mission (NHM), the state body SBTC has plans to join hands with health care providers to set up the centres in order to reach the remote restricts of the state.
While the scheme has achieved success in Pune and Nagpur, the situation in the state looks bleak due to lack of manpower. JJ Mahanagar, Rajawadi Hospital and BPT Blood bank are the only ones functioning as of now.
A senior pathologist from the state run blood banks said that SBTC needs to take steps to deliver on their former promises before going ahead with ambitious plans to set up more centers. “The existing centres are already struggling due to lack of manpower and machinery. Basic equipment like refrigerator, antigen testing kits and transfusion machinery are lacking atthe existing centres. At the same time, we have an acute shortage of technicians and pathologistsAmidst this, proposals to set up new centres will only create burden on the employee," said the senior pathologist on condition of anonymity.
When former chief minister Prithviraj Chavan had launched the State Blood Transfusion Committee's (SBTC) blood delivery service also known as Jeevan Amrut Seva on January 7, he had assured that citizens would have to just call on the toll-free number 104 and specify the blood group and quantity needed, and blood bags (each at R450) would be delivered to the doorstep within a stipulated time. The state had announced that it would set up 34 government-run blood banks in the state’s 35 districts.