Private hospitals to discuss fees for supply of blood

Wednesday December 19 2018

A unit of blood pending processing by the blood

A unit of blood pending processing by the blood bank. PHOTO BY RACHEL MABALA 


Kampala. Private hospitals are yet to meet to discuss a government proposal to consider charging them service fees for supply of blood units.

Speaking at the handover ceremony of blood donation vans to Mengo Hospital on Monday, the Ministry of Health permanent secretary, Dr Diana Atwine, said private hospitals collect free processed blood but sell it to patients claiming the payment is for “processing fees”.

But the private hospitals said they are open to discussions.

However, Dr Denis Kimalyo, the executive director of Uganda National Association of Private Hospitals, yesterday revealed that the proposal is a health issue that calls for candid discussions.
“Health is a public good, people pay through taxes. As an association, we are yet to sit and come up with our input on that (proposal). But this is something we shall resist,” Dr Kimalyo said.

He condemned the proposal saying the charges shall be passed on to patients.
“Will they also be buying the blood from people? There is nothing such as ‘I am donating on behalf of government or private’. Definitely the money will be passed to patients, that’s how we do our funding,” Dr Kimalyo said.

Mr Michael Mukundane, the public relations officer of Uganda Blood Transfusion Services, said charging a service fee will help in facilitating the running of the blood bank thus reduce the pressure on government as well as curbing down the misuse of blood.
“It will help in misuse because the hospital knows there is a cost. Some people are transfused when they do not require transfusion… This money will also help us to give what is required because cold blood itself is not to be wasted,” Mr Mukundane said.