Nearly half of the 68 government and private blood banks in the capital have been functioning without valid licences, the Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) a report released Tuesday has noted. The blood bank at Sushrata Trauma Centre, where five patients had died after oxygen supply to their ventilators had stopped five years ago, has not renewed its licence since December 2012, the report said.
In the capital, blood is available at 68 blood banks, of which 11 are managed by the Delhi government, nine by the Centre, three by the municipal corporations, six by voluntary organisations, while 39 are private, including those run by private hospitals.
“An audit of records of Drugs Control Department (DCD) relating to issue/renewal of licence to 68 blood banks revealed that 32 of 68 blood banks (10 government blood banks, 16 of private hospitals, three private and three of voluntary organisations) were functioning without renewing their licences as of March, 2017… In the absence of valid licences, an audit could not derive assurance that these blood banks had the required manpower and infrastructure for their functioning,” the report said.
The CAG maintained that “non-compliance of deficiencies by the blood banks, delays in conducting inspection/re-inspection and delays in issuing renewal after satisfactory inspections” were among the reasons for such a situation.
The 2017 report further stated that even though the National Aids Control Organization (NACO) had envisaged the setting up of four Metro Blood Banks — Centre of Excellence (MBB-COE) in four cities, which included Delhi, the centrally funded project was not executed in the capital.
“In May, 2013, NACO forwarded a concept note on the MBB-COE to the Delhi Health Secretary. The Cabinet, GNCTD, approved setting up of Metro Blood Bank at Dwarka Hospital in July, 2016,” the report said.
However, since “no action” was taken “for signing the MoU with NACO till April 2017”, NACO decided to postpone the project to subsequent phase and shifted the project to Kolkata in April 2017. “… GNCTD took four years for selection of site, cabinet approval, and approval of Lieutenant Governor. Thus, delay in decision-making by GNCTD resulted in shifting the project, thereby depriving the people of NCT of Delhi from the benefits of MBB-COE,” the report said.
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