Red Cross tag to be removed from blood banks in Odisha

Bhubaneswar: Now the Red Cross tag in blood banks in the state-run hospitals will be no more, as those will be renamed as Odisha Blood Banks.

An official notification issued by the Health and Family Welfare Department said that the Red Cross Blood Banks functioning on the premises of 55 government hospitals including the Capital Hospital will be taken over by the government.

With the decision by the government, three blood banks functioning on the premises of three state-run medical colleges and hospitals and the blood banks in 28 district headquarters hospitals, 19 sub division hospitals, Capital Hospital, BMC Hospital in Bhubaneswar and Rourkela Government Hospital (RGH) will be known as the Odisha Blood Banks.

Currently, there are 83 blood banks across the State, out of which 56 blood banks are managed by the Red Cross. Except the Central Red Cross Blood Bank, Cuttack, other 55 other Red Cross Blood Banks are functioning under the supervision of medical college superintendents, CDMOs, SDMOs and medical officers of the government.

As the Red Cross manages only Central Red Cross blood bank at Cuttack, it had been denying to claim other 55 blood banks functioning in its tag as its own. On the other hand, the government was not recognising the blood bank employees as its staff.

With no more recognition from Red Cross and the government, the employees working in the blood banks were facing serious problems. Later, Odisha Blood Bank Employees’ Association appealed to the government to accept the blood bank employees as regular government employees. The Red Cross members and regular blood donors also demanded the government to keep the blood banks under its direct control.

Following the notification, the blood bank employees welcomed the government’s decision and they are hopeful to be considered as the government’s regular employees.

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