The National Blood Services Zimbabwe (NBSZ) has stopped accepting coupons from Government with effect from Tuesday this week, and health institutions requiring blood or blood products are now required to pay in advance until further notice.
This means that patients requiring transfusion from any public health facility will have to pay at least US$120 per pint or $12 000, which would be reviewed from time-to-time.
The move is designed to enable health facilities to pay the NBSZ in advance.
In an internal memo written by NBSZ finance director, Mr Rhadi Chikwereti to all departments, credit facilities will only be availed to approved institutions.
Institutions will be approved after completing credit facility forms.
So far, Parirenyatwa Group of Hospitals is the only public health institution that has entered into an agreement with NBSZ for a waiver of the latest position.
The NBSZ attributed the suspension of the facility to the obtaining challenging economic environment, which has made procurement of raw materials and consumables difficult.
It said in order to maintain quality of products, as well as adequacy, the facility will only be reinstated upon agreement of payment modalities with the Ministry of Health and Child Care.
Mr Chikwereti said the revised fees and services will apply to both public and private institutions, as well as medical aid societies, unlike in the past when there was a three-tier pricing system for Government, mission and private facilities.
NBSZ spokesperson Ms Esther Massundah confirmed the development, but referred all questions to Government for a clearer position.
While no comment could be obtained from Government by time of going to press, Parirenyatwa Group of Hospitals confirmed it had received the latest position, but has since made an arrangement with NBSZ.
“Yes, we have made an arrangement with NBSZ for our patients to continue accessing blood, said the hospital spokesperson Mr Linos Dhire. So for now, the suspension is temporarily lifted.”
Government introduced the free blood policy in June 2018 to cushion economically disadvantaged patients who seek services from Government institutions against high costs of procuring blood. The Herald