By Mirembe Martina
Patients in public or government hospitals may start paying for blood transfusions if government adopts a proposal by Uganda Blood Transfusion Service.
The proposal given to government states that blood should start to be sold to public hospitals and if adopted by the government, patients in such hospitals will start paying for the blood.
Uganda Blood Transfusion Service (UBTS) is seeking to change the policy of accessing free blood by hospitals so as hospitals start paying for the blood collected from blood banks. The new strategy plan will ensure this implemented, according to the director os UBTS, Dorothy Kyeyune.
“There should be a cost recovery through the health insurance scheme for the blood issued. Funding is not enough so if we could generate income from these units of blood maybe we could be able to operate efficiently,” said Kyeyune.
“You are not being financed with sufficient resources, should blood be free, if water is not free? In hospitals blood should not be free, government should pay,” said Eddy Kwezira (MP Bufumbira East) who is also the committee‘s lead counsel.
Kyeyune noted that UBTS lacked funds to employ enough employees, “It is very hard to convince Ugandans to donate blood for free. In Uganda it is something for something; they ask us, when I give blood what are you going to give me?” she explained. She went on to add that UBTS collects over 25000 units of blood monthly.
UBTS demanded for increased funding from the current sh3.12 billion to sh13.5 billion to be able to fund its activities such as expansion of blood transfusion infrastructure, promotion of appropriate clinical use of blood in hospitals, to mention but a few.