It was a landmark event for the Government to take note of the fact that private hospitals must be allowed to participate in outdoor blood donation camps and amend the drugs and cosmetics act. Though there was an order by the National Blood Transfusion Council more than a year before the act was amended but little had changed till then. With a single government order, a major roadblock to 100% voluntary blood donation was removed.
Though private hospital based blood banks had for years complained about not being able to choose outdoor voluntary blood donation as against replacement because of the legal barriers, once those obstacles were removed, nothing seemed to change in the first few months. However, the buzz about the amendment gradually increased. We got several requests to share the government order. Media was helpful because every article related to the issue covered the need for private hospitals to now consider doing outdoor blood donation drives. For those who had long struggled for this change, the time for full of anticipation and uncertainty - to see when voluntary blood donation finally kicks in.
Fortunately, the month of August did see the first signs of change, at-least in Bangalore. A handful of private hospital based blood banks led by progressive blood bankers decided to give the new opportunity a try. Over next few months, we plan to start with small blood donation camps for them so that they can get their teams in good shape for the unique needs of outdoor blood donation drives.
Finally, it's the time when some light is visible at the end of the tunnel.
Link to the order: