The state government is planning to set up 83 blood banks in remote areas of Pune for the benefit of the rural population.
The new plan is a face saver for the government after the failure of Jeevan Amrut Seva' or blood-on-call' service.
"We have now planned to set up 207 blood storage centers in rural interiors to enable local hospitals to carry out important life-saving treatments at their own set up. At present, hospitals in rural areas are forced to send patients to city hospitals due to non-availability of blood banks in villages and small towns," said Satish Pawar, Director of the state health department.
"Of the 207 centers, a total of 124 have already become functional. We now plan to set up 83 additional blood storage centers in near future," he added.
Around 46 percent of blood storage centers are concentrated in the four districts of Mumbai, Nagpur, Pune and Thane. Remaining 54 percent of storage centers are scattered in the remaining 30 districts of Maharashtra.
"We stock blood bags of different blood groups depending upon the requirement of that particular village and small town. The blood is dispensed after cross matching. Currently around 44 proposals for setting up blood storage centers are pending with Food and Drug Administration for their approval," said Pawar.
Most blood banks are functional in Mumbai, Nagpur, Pune and at districts level. This forces patients from villages to turn towards the cities for medical services. Also, due to non-availability of blood, specialist doctors are not willing to establish hospitals in villages. As a result, villagers are deprived of very vital health service.