17 blood banks, 37 blood storage centres operating illegally
Srinagar: Most government-run hospitals in Jammu and Kashmir are running blood banks and blood storage centres without licences. Despite strict laws and rules to monitor blood banks under the Drugs and Cosmetics Act, no action has been taken by the Health Department against any of the erring hospitals.
As per official figures, there are at least 17 blood banks and 37 blood storage centres (BSCs) that are running without a valid licence in different government hospitals.
“Most of the blood banks in government hospitals are illegally run because their licences haven’t been renewed for the past many years,” official sources told Kashmir Reader. “Most of them are brazenly violating the norms as they haven’t fulfilled the basic requirements,” they added.
Among the 17 illegal blood banks, 10 are without a licence because they do not have the requisite facilities and equipment required for obtaining one.
As per the Drugs and Cosmetics Act, there is provision for suspension or cancellation of licences if a hospital fails to fulfil the necessary requirements. However, no action has been taken so far against any of the health institutions which include District Hospital, Kulgam; Government Bone & Joint Surgery Hospital, Barzulla, Srinagar; District Hospital, Baramulla; Sub-District Hospital, Kupwara; Sub-District Hospital, Chadoora, Budgam; MMABM District Hospital, Anantnag; District Hospital, Budgam; District Hospital, Kargil; Government Medical College Hospital, Jammu; and 166-Military Hospital, Satwari.
“The remaining seven (unlicensed) blood bank facilities are at GB Pant Hospital, Srinagar; Emergency Hospital/SDH Qazigund; District Hospital Handwara; SDH Doru, Anantnag; District Hospital, Doda; Sub-District Hospital, Kishtwar; and Emergency Hospital, Ramban,” official documents say.
Of the illegal BSCs being run in government hospitals, most are awaiting renewal by the Drug and Food Control Organisation (DFCO).
As per official documents, the Kashmir hospitals where BSCs are running without licence include CHC Tangdar, Karnah, District Kupwara; SDH Kralpora, Kupwara; Govt Kashmir Nursing Home, Associated Hospital, Sonwar, Srinagar; Ladakh Heart Foundation Hospital, Leh; SDH Bandipora; SDH Charar-e-Sharif, District Budgam; Hakim Sanaullah Specialist Hospital & Cancer Centre; SDH Keller; Super Speciality Hospital, Jammu; SDH Bijbehara; SDH Shopian; Sub-District Hospital, Disket, Nubra, Leh; CHC Khaltsi, Leh; and SDH Kokernag, District Anantnag.
The hospitals running blood banks illegally in Jammu division include CHC RS Pura, Jammu; SDH Bishnah; JK Medicity Hospital, Jammu; Composite Hospital, CRPF, Bantalab, Jammu; FRU/SDH Mandi; ESIC Hospital, Bari Brahmana, Jammu; Kristu Jyoti Hospital, Diani, Samba; CHC Ramgarh; CHC Basohli; SDH Bilawar; SDH Bani; SDH/Acidental Hospital Vijaypur; CHC Hiranagar; SDH Nowshera, Rajouri; SDH Akhnoor, District Jammu; FRU/SDH, Sunderbani; SDH Mendhar, District Poonch; CHC Darhal, Rajouri; District Hospital Samba; SDH Surankote, District Poonch; SDH Block Ramnagar, District Udhampur; New Emergency Hospital Katra, District Reasi; Blood Storage Centre at SDH Reasi; and CHC Chennani, District Udhampur.
Controller DFCO Lotika Khajuria admitted that many hospital blood banks have been awaiting the renewal of licences. However, she said, the Government of India has changed the guidelines regarding the licensing process.
“Many hospitals are awaiting licences but Government of India has changed the guidelines of licensing. There is no provision and criteria for renewal now. We have to either cancel or suspend licences,” she said.
Asked how many blood banks are running illegally, she said: “I can’t discuss details on the phone as I am out of office.”