Free blood at hospitals

Tanaka Kadenge
All Government and mission health institutions will from today provide free blood to patients as healthcare institutions take heed of President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s directive to scrap associated charges.

Patients requiring transfusions were being charged an average of $250 for a pint of blood before Government ordered a price reduction to $50, before directing public institutions to provide the service for free.

In a statement yesterday, National Blood Service Zimbabwe’s public affairs manager Ms Esther Massundah said: “The Government through the Ministry of Health and Child Care has approved the scrapping of user fee for blood in government and mission Hospitals. The subsidy is however not applicable to patients on medical aid or private patients in Government institutions.”

Ms Masundah said the NBSZ blood bank was well-stocked. She said the organisation had taken measures to beef up stocks, following issues of depletion of blood group O stocks, with school holiday blood drives already lined up.

Previously, only pregnant women and children under the age of five could get free blood at public hospitals.

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