The population of Punjab is approximately 100 million and has 36 administrative districts, comprising over 50% of the population of Pakistan. The large public sector blood banks are under the administrative control of the Institute of Blood Transfusion Services (IBTS) and the other public sector hospital blood banks are managed by the district health organization. In addition, the private sector blood banks also exist in the hospital, thalassaemiacenters and as stand-alone centers.
The budget of the Punjab PC-1 for SBTP Phase I was PKR 323.75 million through which two Regional Blood Centres have been constructed, one each in Multan and Bahawalpur, each with an annual processing capacity of 50,000 donations. These RBCs are equipped with a customized MIS and latest equipment. The RBCs have become operational. However, the Punjab government is considering Public Private Partnership model for managing these Centers.
In Phase II, a new RBC will be constructed and equipped in Faisalabad and linked to 6 existing HBBs which will be upgraded and renovated. In addition, some blood banks including those in Jinnah and Mayo Hospitals, Lahore will be re-designated to become “Collaborating RBCs” and encouraged to adopt the SBTP model of functional separation between production units (RBCs) and utilization units (HBBs). These re-designated RBCs will be included in the SBTP coverage net and provided material and technical support to align them to their envisaged role. The SBTP Phase II budget for Punjab is PKR 393.2 million including the German government grant.
The DoH also plans to up-grade 9 large public sector HBBs to RBCsthorugh its own resources on SBTP centralization model. These nine Centres would collect approximately 0.6 million units of blood annually. The Phase I, II and these 9 RBCs would, when fully operational, would provide the bulk of the blood transfusion service delivery in the province in a uniform and quality assured manner relying to a large extent on voluntary blood donations.
The Punjab Blood Transfusion System is operating under the Punjab Transfusion of Safe Blood Ordinance 1999. A new revised, upgraded version of the law is under consideration in the Punjab legislature. The Punjab Blood Transfusion Authority is responsible for regulating the service delivery by the public and private sector and has initiated the registration and licensing of all the private and public sector blood banks in the province.
The Government of Punjab has drafted a comprehensive Health Sector Strategy to improve health and life expectancy. The strategy entails a series of goals that essentially reconstruct the health system in Punjab. Among the 12 identified strategies, strategy 5 and 6 are relevant to Blood Safety.
The Punjab Blood Safety Bill 2016 was approved by the standing committee on health in August 2016 and finally approved by the Punjab Assembly on Oct 19, 2016.