PATIENTS in need of blood are now paying for the product directly to the National Blood Services Zimbabwe following the organisation's demands that all hospitals pay cash upfront for ordered blood and blood products.
According to NBSZ, the decision to demand cash from health institutions was reached after both Government and private hospitals failed to pay for delivered blood.
Government institutions owe NBSZ US$1,6 million while private hospitals' arrears amount to US$200 000. Some institutions have also failed to pay cash for the blood, resulting in artificial shortages in Zimbabwe.
NBSZ spokesperson Ms Esther Massundah said: "Patients are being told there is no blood and it appears as if there is a shortage of blood in the country yet the blood bank is not strained. What could be happening is that hospitals are buying limited quantities, which they afford."
She said NBSZ decided to allow people to pay individually.