Ministry of Health (Ministry) refers to an article published by The Star newspaper on 2nd November 2014. The main issue raised was that blood donors claimed that private hospitals are profiting from the blood products, which had been donated for free. The price for each bag of blood ranges from RM160 ‐ RM500.
It is compulsory and part of the requirements for license renewal, for private healthcare facilities to have agreement with blood banks or Government facilities to supply the facilities with blood and blood products when the need arises. Based on Section 60 in Private Healthcare Facilities and Services Act 1998 [Act 586], private healthcare facilities providing emergency services regularly or surgical services shall maintain a minimum blood supply in its premises at all times for its daily use or be in a position to obtain blood quickly from other licensed blood banks or Government facilities for its daily needs.
The Eleventh Schedule, Code of Ethics for Blood Donation and Transfusion in Private Healthcare Facilities and Services Regulations 2006 states that;
a) Paragraph I.3 – Financial profit shall never be a motive either for the donor or for those responsible for collecting the donation.
b) Paragraph II.7 ‐ Blood and blood products shall not be given unless there is a genuine therapeutic need. There shall be no financial motivation on the part of either the prescriber or the establishment where the patient is treated.
c) Paragraph II.8 ‐ Whatever their financial resources, all patients must be able to benefit from administration of blood or blood products, subject to their availability.
Therefore, Ministry would like to remind all private hospitals not to treat blood and blood products as commodity to gain profit. Blood and blood products are therapeutic substances which can only be gained from voluntary donations and hence, should not be used for commercial gain. Ministry would like to suggest for private hospitals to provide itemised bills for patients who require blood and blood products transfusion to prevent misunderstanding between the patients and the healthcare provider. If there is any complaint regarding the abuse of blood and blood products, the public may forward it to Medical Practice Division via email at email@example.com.
DATUK DR. NOOR HISHAM BIN ABDULLAH
Director General of Health Malaysia
Ministry of Health Malaysia
10th November 2014