Blood is dearer now in Calcutta and elsewhere in Bengal, after the Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee government’s decision to slash subsidy. A unit of blood, priced at Rs 175, will now cost Rs 500. However, the rates apply only to blood sold to patients admitted to private hospitals and nursing homes. For those buying blood against prescriptions from state government hospitals, the rate remains as earlier.
“Even Rs 500 per unit is a subsidised rate, because each unit costs the government Rs 750 to Rs 800 in conducting mandatory tests and ensuring its safety,” director of medical education C.R. Maity said. “It is illogical to offer blood at such subsidised rates to those who can afford treatment at nursing homes or private hospitals,” added a senior official of Central Blood Bank.
Free blood will continue to be issued against voluntary donor cards. “Statistics reveal that mostly poor people and students donate blood. So, this provision will ensure that the poor continue to get free blood,” the official said. Free blood will also be issued against below poverty line cards and indemnity cards.