Srinagar: Latest data released by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare presents a grim picture of private hospitals in Kashmir as only one of them has a licensed blood bank.
A baseline assessment carried out in 2016 across India indicated that there were 2,672 functional blood banks in the country, inequitably distributed across states. Jammu and Kashmir had 29 blood banks in various government and private hospitals, but only one in a private hospital in Kashmir.
While 25 government-run health institutions had blood banks, only 4 private hospitals, three in Jammu and one in Kashmir, had the licence to run a blood bank.
Four private hospitals in JK have licensed blood banks
ASCCOM Medical College Jammu
Bee Enn General Hospital Jammu
SMVD Narayana Super Specialty Hospital Katra
Florence Hospital Srinagar
25 JK government hospitals have blood banks
This data was revealed by Minister of State (Health and Family Welfare) Ashwini Kumar Choubey in the Lok Sabha.
The ministry data said that health is a state subject and under the National Health Mission (NHM), financial and technical support is provided to states including for strengthening blood services and setting up blood banks in district hospitals as per proposals received from state governments in their Programme Implementation plans.
According to JK health officials, the private blood banks approved by the Drug and Food Control Organisation are in ASCCOM Medical College Jammu, Bee Enn General Hospital Jammu, SMVD Narayana Super Specialty Hospital Katra, and Florence Hospital Srinagar.
“Most of the private hospitals never bothered to make available the essential facility of blood for their patients,” said a senior official in the health department.
Deputy Controller, Drug and Food Control Orgnaisation (DFCO), Surinder Tickoo told Kashmir Reader that most of the private hospitals never approached him for issuing licences for blood banks.
Tickoo, who is the licensing official for blood banks in J&K, said that patients have been suffering for want of blood due to the callous approach of private hospitals.
“The two Directorates of Health Services in Kashmir and Jammu should take strict action against them. They are the enforcing authorities,” he said when asked about the action taken by DFCO.
Another official on anonymity said that government hospitals also fail to renew the licences of their blood banks despite several reminders.
“More than half of the government-run blood banks have not renewed their licences till date. We keep on reminding them but they remain non-responsive,” he said.
The Government of India’s data said that blood banks were clustered in urban and semi-urban locations in all districts of India, barring 74, in accordance with availability of secondary and tertiary health infrastructure in both government and private sectors.
“These blood banks especially manage conditions such as genetic blood disorders, cancer and complex surgeries where there is greater need for blood,” it said.
The World Health Organisation has indicated that if 1 to 3 percent of the population donates blood, the basic blood requirement of a country can be met. There is no norm for number of blood banks per million population, however.