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Free blood for model facilities

RESIDENTS and workers in five subdistricts and six government departments and companies in Minhang District will no longer have to pay for blood transfusions.

The 11 were announced as the district's model blood donating facilities yesterday.

About 500,000 people are covered by the policy, the first in the nation abolishing charges for all people in model facilities. Previously only those who had donated blood or whose family members had donated blood could have transfusions freed.

Officials said the policy was to encourage overall blood donation and solve the financial difficulties of families which can't donate blood for health or other reasons.

Under Shanghai blood donation rules, individuals who don't qualify for free blood have to pay 240 yuan (US$35.2) for each unit of 200 milliliters and another 480 yuan to a blood mutual fund, which can be refunded if the person or the relatives donate the same amount of blood within seven months.

Health officials said they plan to have 90 percent of Minhang communities and 70 percent of government departments and companies included in the policy.

Xu Su, director of Minhang District Health Bureau, said the policy would help patients needing regular transfusions and migrant workers.

Under local rules, expats don't pay into the mutual blood fund if they need a transfusion while those donating blood here are remitted the 240 yuan fee.


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