The online blood bank management system (BBMS) has completely failed in its purpose to deliver people, as 13 out of the 46 blood banks owned by the government in the state, have never uploaded any information about the blood units in the website.
The 13 blood banks include the ones in Jalandhar civil hospital, Medical colleges in Amritsar, Patiala and Faridkot, Ferozepur, Fatehgarh Sahib, Moga, Mansa, Kharar (Mohali) and others.
Interestingly, Abohar civil hospital, which comes under the constituency of Punjab health minister Surjeet Kumar Jayani -- who takes the credit of launching the web-based blood bank management system-- has also not uploaded any information about the stock of blood units in it.
As per government's own claims, the BBMS, an online-based system, was designed to store, process, retrieve and analyse information concerned with the administrative and inventory management within a blood bank.
During its launch in December 2014, the government had claimed that the online system was aimed at maintaining all the information related to blood donors, various blood groups available in each blood bank and would help them manage it properly. Further, it would provide transparency and make the process of obtaining blood from a blood bank hassle and corruption free.
As per details gathered from the website ((http://bbmspunjab.gov.in/)), the 22 districts of the state have 46 blood banks, including those at civil hospitals of districts and major towns.
An official with Punjab Health Systems Corporation (PHSC) claimed that the online system was launched to benefit all the citizens for which initially the 46 blood banks, which are run by the government in Punjab, were to be interlinked so that no one was forced to run from pillar to post for blood.
He said that information about all the eight blood groups was to be made available in these blood banks. "The government might have launched the website for public and had even purchased computers and arranged internet connection for uploading the information on day-to-day bases in the website, but who cares about the orders," he added.
The official said at some places, the facility was being used for personal works (checking emails or Facebook) by employees of blood bank, rather than feeding valuable information about the availability of units.
"We had repeatedly asked the employees, including counsellors, helpers, technicians to keep information updated and even held meetings with them, but to no avail," the official said.
Dr Gagandeep Singh, district blood transfusion officer, said, "We have no data entry operator here who can handle this work. We have already written to PHSC and it has also assured us for the same."
PHSC MD Hussan Lal was unavailable for the comments.