On various fora I have heard many complain about the money they have to pay even when they have donated blood for a relative or when they have to get blood for a relative.
To them they are “paying for blood they have donated freely” or buying blood.
These assertions although may sound plausible at first, actually exposes 2 main things :
1. The patients and relatives’ lack of understanding of what they actually pay for
2 . The failure of service providers to explain the reason for the charges to patients and their relatives
For starters, the charge paid is not for the blood requested or donated. It is known as the PROCESSING FEE.
When blood is donated either by voluntary donors or relatives , it needs to be tested for diseases like HIV, Hepatitis B&C, Syphilis, Malaria etc which can be transmitted through the blood .
Also tests are conducted to know the blood group and also possible reactions the receiver may have when given the blood.
Also the blood collected is sometimes processed into various components eg packed cells, plasma etc which are needed for different situations.
Now the blood as collected needs to be kept in special bags that contain preservatives and then stored in special fridges that keep them at controlled temperatures.
All this is done to ensure that the receiver is safe when given the blood.
All of these tests and procedures are not free. They cost money and the PROCESSING FEE is meant to defray some of these costs.
Indeed the processing fee is heavily subsidized and cannot even actually cover the full cost of all the tests and processing modalities above.
So you see, you are not paying for the blood as it were.. You paid PROCESSING FEE!
Source: Dr Richard Selormey FB Page