THE National Blood Services of Zimbabwe (NBSZ) is now demanding cash up front from government hospitals for blood because of the health institutions’ failure to pay for supplies on time.
Report by Gamma Mudarikiri
NBSZ public affairs manager Esther Massundah told NewsDay yesterday that as of January, government hospitals owed NBSZ over $1,6 million.
She said the failure by hospitals to pay for blood on time had seriously affected the blood bank’s operations.
The government hospitals constitute 80% of the NBSZ’s clients.
“The situation is so dire and as an organisation we have been forced to demand cash upfront from hospitals for all blood supplies in order to continue with operations,” Massundah said.
But she indicated that some hospitals had submitted payment plans to clear the debt.
Patients who need blood transfusion are now resorting to buying blood directly from NBSZ as most government hospitals are now running out of stocks.
Massundah said NBSZ had engaged the Health and Child Welfare ministry, which understood their plight.
NBSZ supplies blood and blood products to 46 government hospitals, 14 mission hospitals and 35 private hospitals across the country.
In the 2013 Budget, Finance minister Tendai Biti allocated a paltry
$381 million to the Health ministry, which is a far cry from other ministries like Education, Sport, Arts and Culture which received $1 billion.