‘Administrative fee’ of Red Cross?
A relative of my wife was recently in a hospital where his B-type blood needed to be “cross-matched” with several donations, which was fine but for the ever-constant P1,500 “administrative fee” per bag of blood.
Now, to someone on a goodly income, that sum may not sound like much, but it’s normally beyond the reach of most Filipinos. A worker at the Red Cross office here in Cagayan de Oro City, told me a few months ago that Red Cross was charging this fee because it wasn’t getting “enough support”; and, anyway, if anyone couldn’t afford the fee, he or she could always approach the folks at City Hall for help.
At a time when families are going through so much stress and chasing donor cards to get a transfusion, the last thing they need is more stress caused by an “administrative fee” that they can’t afford. Where to get the payment? They have to beg for it from some bureaucrat, to be accommodated only after they have been kept waiting for “clearance” to proceed and get the necessary signatures, this after they’ve been “tested” and found, for certain, worthy of the sought-for assistance.
I have been a blood donor through the Australian Red Cross on dozens of occasions, and a payment or any sort of “administrative fee” to receive a transfusion is simply unheard of with the Australian Red Cross.
Isn’t voluntary service one of the principles of the International Red Cross? Red Cross “is a voluntary relief movement not prompted in any manner by desire for gain.”
I have sent an e-mail to the Philippine Red Cross about this “fee,” but have received no reply yet.
Perhaps someone else may be able to shed more light on this mysterious “administrative fee.” (By the way, it seems that this fee doesn’t apply in the town of Opol, only in Cagayan de Oro.)
—WALTER P. KOMARNICKI,
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