PUTRAJAYA: Private hospitals and other private healthcare facilities doing blood transfusion are advised to adopt the revised guidelines established by the National Blood Bank.
Health director-general Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah in a statement today, reminded all private healthcare facilities, especially private hospitals, to take extra preventive measures to prevent untoward complications in the blood transfusion processes or services.
“A private healthcare facility providing blood transfusion services and blood donation programmes shall ensure the safety of the donors and recipients and draw up the criteria and standards for blood donor recruitment, selection and care.
“Such criteria and standards shall be consistent with the Code of Ethics for Blood Donation and Transfusion of the Health Ministry, as stated in the Eleventh Schedule of the Private Healthcare Facilities and Services Regulations 2006,”
Dr Noor Hisham said the ministry took note of the recent media report on a private hospital being ordered by the court to pay RM896,000 to an accident victim for its negligence in providing him with HIV-contaminated blood in 2005.
He said the ministry was very concerned about the safety of blood transfusion services in the country. Blood transfusion services are not only being provided in the public healthcare sector but also at the private healthcare facilities.
Dr Noor Hisham said blood donation and transfusion activities in the private healthcare settings were governed through the Private Healthcare Facilities and Services Act 1998 (Act 586) and the Private Healthcare Facilities and Services
(Private Hospitals and Other Private Healthcare Facilities) Regulations 2006 P.U (A) 138/2006.
“These facilities undergo regular inspections for control and licensing purposes by the ministry,” he said.
Based on Section 60 in Act 586, all licensed 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.
For licensing purposes, it is compulsory and part of the requirements for such private healthcare facilities to have an agreement with blood banks or government facilities with blood and blood products when the need arises.
In relation to this under Part XXI of the Private Healthcare Facilities and Services Regulations 2006, blood bank services, blood tranfusion services or blood donation programmes need to adhere to special requirements if these services are being provided by private healthcare facilities or services.
Amongst others, the special provisions include requirements on performance of tests and procedures, the standard operating procedure (SOP) and administration of blood and blood products.
In light of the ministry’s concerns, Dr Noor Hisham urged prospective blood donors to provide frank and accurate answers in the donor questionnaire and not to use donation sites as a place to test their HIV status.
He said the Health Ministry had published successive guidelines as additional safety measures to be used at the facilities that conducted blood donation, and processing and screening of donated blood.
“These include using only licensed assay systems for blood screening, adhering to national and international standards, ensuring the availability of adequate number of trained staff, being appropriately resourced in terms of equipment and facilities, and implementing an effective quality control system in the laboratory,” he added.- BERNAMA