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Monday, December 31, 2012

Blood-on-call in Mum, Pune before March

Mumbai: The state government will roll out the blood-oncall service in Mumbai and Pune before the end of this financial year (March 2013). 

    "The department is ready to execute the proposal to deliver blood directly to hospitals. To ensure smooth functioning, the implementation will be done in phases," public health minister Suresh Shetty said on Monday. "A special helpline number would be set up for the "dial-a-blood-bag" project, so that patients or their kin do not have to run around for blood," Shetty said. 
    A meeting, chaired by Shetty, to review preparation of the project was held at Mantralaya on Monday. It was attended by additional chief secretary (health) T C Benjamin, secretary (health) Meeta Lochan and other seniorhealth department officials. Shetty also took stock of other health programmes, including Rajiv Gandhi Jeevandayee Arogya 
Yojana with CEO of the scheme Dr K Venkatesham. 
    Once the project is implemented, anyone who needs blood will have to dial the helpline number and place a request. Blood packages will be delivered to the specified hospital or clinic by delivery boys. The requested pouches will be delivered from the district blood bank to the nursing home or hospital located within a radius of 40 km or 1-hour distance. "The delivery would be done on motorcycles, which 
will have cold storage facility to maintain the blood temperature," the minister said, adding, "The transportation will be outsourced. Training will be given to those hired for transportation." 
    A health department official said Mumbai and Pune figure in the phase-2 list of the dial-a-blood-bag project. The first phase will be flagged off from rural areas in January, starting with chief minister 

Prithviraj Chavan's hometown Satara and former chief minister and senior Congress leader Narayan Rane's hometown Sindhudurg. 
    "The first phase was to take off by 2012-end, however, it got delayed by a fortnight due to technical reasons. Now the first phase will start from January," the official added. 
    Another official said the system will curb malpractices. "There is no system to keep a tab on how much blood was donated and where it was utilized. Some times, blood banks demand exorbitant amount," the official said.

A TOI report on July 1

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