Healthcare hit as blood bank staff continue stir

Berhampur: Blood transfusion facilities have been badly hit across Odisha due to the ongoing cease-work strike by blood bank officials since November 26. Thalassemic patients and their relatives have been the biggest sufferers due to the strike.

The condition is severe at the Berhampur MKCG Medical College and Hospital where blood banks have been closed since last three days while vans which collect blood are also not being used. Sources said due to daily requirements of hundreds of blood packets, the stocks are also reducing drastically.

“I have been waiting for hours to get blood for my son but the hospital authorities are dilly-dallying in supplying us blood. They have asked us to wait saying that the blood bank officials have gone on strike and due to shortage of staff, supply of blood could be delayed,” said Runu Gouda, mother of a patient.

However, the hospital authorities said the issue will be sorted out soon once the blood donation camps are organised.

“Blood banks run out of stocks quite often but they get replenished once donation camps are carried out. We hope that the issue will be resolved at the earliest,” MKCG hospital Dean Radhamadhav Tripathy said.

Not only Berhampur, several other hospitals across the State are also witnessing shortage of staff and blood stocks due to the ongoing strike.

It is to be noted that, hundreds of officials, technicians and other support officials of blood banks under the aegis of the All Odisha Blood Bank Employees’ Association have been staging protests at lower PMG in Bhubaneswar demanding regularisation of contractual employees who have served for more than 10-15 years and salary at par with those working in similar profession.