Published: Sunday November 2, 2014 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Updated: Sunday November 2, 2014 MYT 9:21:13 AM
Donors: Private hospitals charging excessive fee for donated blood
They accuse these hospitals of profiting from the goodwill of donors.
Apart from donors, most private hospitals get blood from the National Blood Centre (NBC) at nominal cost.
A check by Sunday Star found that patients requiring transfusion pay between RM160 and RM500 for 350ml to 450ml bags of blood in private hospitals – even if they bring along donors to replenish the blood used during treatment.
The above article has generated much furore among private hospitals, donors and the general public. The initial response to this article was that of anger. The picture of private hospitals exploiting the goodwill of blood donors was the obvious intention of the article by Christina Chin.
However, there has been an attempt to explain what those charges are for, ranging from testing for infectious diseases, cross matching to storage. All these certainly do cost money to the private hospitals and those charges are then transferred back to the patients. The blood per se is not charged!
So the question is, is this practice wrong? Clearly no.
The press needs to learn a thing or two about investigative journalism. Checking your facts from all quarters is essential. The power they hold in their reporting should come with this very basic responsibility. The repercussions can be enormous and can cause panic.
It was clear from the article that based on the assumptions of a few donors and perhaps unhappy patients, which were obviously emotional and incorrect, they have smeared the reputation of private hospitals. We urge The Star to correct this article and report in a more balanced manner.