MPs yesterday called for the need to create an independent unified blood centre for all regions to ensure the safety of blood used for transfusion.
The members of the House Health Committee visited Nicosia General Hospital where they also noted administrative problems and lack of coordination as its Blood Centre is under the Health Ministry and no administrative checks can be carried out.
They said the unified Blood Centre should be in line with the 2002 European directive which is not implemented in Cyprus.
Politicians also stressed the need to buy the required software programme for molecular checks in all regions and to establish a protocol that will be implemented nationwide.
In statements to the press after the visit, Diko MP Athena Kyriakidou said what matters is the safety of blood transfused to patients as blood donors donate blood voluntarily to save lives.
“A European directive is in place since 2002 for the creation of a Blood Centre, while various protocols have to be implemented and a manual should be closely followed by those handling blood in all regions,” she said.
“We were surprised to hear that these procedures do not exist, there is no manual and every region follows its own procedures at their convenience.”
Akel MP Stella Misiaouli said problems with the blood used for transfusion continue to exist and worsen.
“There is a need for a unified blood organisation which should be located in Nicosia as all emergency cases requiring blood end up here and it should be directed by one person under the Health Ministry in line with specific protocols.”
Misiaouli urged the Health Ministry to establish a blood quality control protocol which should be implemented in all regions on the island.
“Two ways for checking blood for Hepatitis B and C and AIDs are currently implemented at Nicosia General Hospital while in other regions there is only one way for checking the quality of blood,” she said.
“This, for us, is an inadequate way of checking the quality of blood and we also doubt the quality of blood.”
Appealing to people to donate more blood in order to have more reserves, Misiaouli said there was no reason to panic as blood transfusions are safe and only one or two “unfortunate” cases were recorded.
“It’s a shame for Thalassaemia patients to stay without blood transfusions for five, ten or more days which is at the expense of their life,” the MP noted.
Health Committee Chairman Costas Constatinou said:
“There are truly many problems, although serious productive work is being done for the benefit of patients and society always relies on the offer from volunteers.
“There are many improvements that are imperative and procedures in line with international prototypes and European directives have to be implemented,” he added.
Echoing colleagues, the Disy MP argued failure by the Health Ministry to implement the 2002 European directive was a very serious problem.
Constantinou said everyone related to blood issues will be invited to the committee in the next few days so that this “very sensitive sector” is improved.