Five months have passed since the Quality Council Of India (QCI) organised a sensitisation programme for accreditation of blood banks in the city. So far, however, not a single blood bank has applied for accreditation. The voluntary nature of the procedure and high expenses involved in the accreditation process has been cited as common cause for this indifference. “Around 125 blood banks in the state had participated in the sensitisation programme. But even after five months, there has been no progress on the accreditation front. Not a single blood bank in the city has applied for accreditation either to the National Accreditation Board for Hospitals and Healthcare Providers (NABH) or the National Accreditation Board for Testing and Calibration Laboratories (NABL),” said pathologist Dileep Wani of Jankalyan blood bank. Wani is among the 17 national assessor for accreditation of blood banks in India. With the initiative of the QCI, the sensitisation programme for accreditation of blood banks was organised by the Symbiosis Institute of Health Sciences (SIHS) in association with the NABL on July 27. When contacted, pathologist Sanjeev Ketkar, in-charge of the blood bank at the Deenanath Mangeshkar Hospital said, “We have undergone training during the sensitisation programme. We have understood the process. However, we haven’t applied for it so far. The proposal is at discussion stage.” The blood bank at the Aditya Birla memorial hospital in Chinchwad said the charges involved in the entire accreditation process are exorbitant. “Even if a blood bank wants a copy of guidelines recently formulated by the NABH, they have to pay for it,” said transfusion medicine expert Naveen Agnihotri, in-charge of the blood bank at the hospital. “We have not applied for accreditation, but we are in the process of going for it soon.” Agnihotri added that following the accreditation, the blood banks will have to increase their charges. “Since every stage in getting an accreditation involves high expenses, the blood banks will have to hike their charges consequently. This will eventually affect the common man.” The accreditation programme looks at quality and safety of collecting, processing, testing and transfusion of blood products. The basis for assessment of a blood bank include compliance with the accreditation standard and national regulatory requirements. The accreditation programme assesses the quality and operational systems in place within the facility, said Wani. “Seeking accreditation is purely voluntary in nature. There is no compulsion for getting an accreditation. Besides, there is no lure or incentive involved if a blood bank gets its accredited,” Wani said. This is one of the reasons why none of the 22 blood banks in the city has applied for accreditation, he added.