National Blood Services Zimbabwe (NBSZ) has increased blood prices by 80 percent for patients in all private health institutions, private wards at public institutions and everyone covered by medical aid with effect from December 1.
This will see private and insured patients requiring transfusions paying $2 160 for a unit, up from $1 200.
Uninsured patients in public wards at Government hospitals and municipal clinics in Harare and Bulawayo continue to have their transfusions paid for by the Government.
In a statement yesterday, NBSZ spokesperson Ms Esther Massundah said the adjustment was in line with the interbank rate and emphasised that the cost of processing a unit of blood remained at US$120.
“The cost of producing a safe unit of blood is US$120, which is recovered at the prevailing bank rate,” she said. “This production cost has been the same for the past five years and this is the very same fee that the Government is paying to the NBSZ for every unit of product that is issued to a patient in public institutions.”
Ms Massundah said this was the same fee levied to private hospitals, but the cost was borne by patients since the Government subsidy only applied to public health institutions.
She said hospitals were allowed to charge an administration fee of five percent on the blood and blood products in addition to the price they paid NBSZ.
Government introduced the free blood initiative in July 2018 for patients seeking transfusion from public health institutions and since then, patients have been accessing blood free of charge in these institutions.
Recently, the policy was extended to local authorities in Harare and Bulawayo owing to the ongoing industrial action by doctors at central hospitals.