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Probe begins into illegal blood trade

By Wang Qingyun (China Daily)

08:29, January 11, 2013

Farmer Liu Guixi (left) and her husband, Zhu Lianshui, donate their blood in a collection vehicle in Dongma village, Liaocheng, Shandong province, on Monday. Each of them held a certificate proving they are voluntary blood donators. (Photo/China Daily)

An investigation into the sale of fake blood-donation certificates is under way after a newspaper reported it had uncovered an illegal trade exploiting the blood donation system.

New Express Daily in Guangzhou, Guangdong province, reported last week that one of its reporters bought a proof of blood donation certificate for 3,000 yuan ($480) without making the donation.

Deng Haihua, spokesman of the Ministry of Health, said at a news conference on Thursday that the local health department is still verifying the incident and police have opened an investigation into the illegal practice.

China has policies encouraging blood donation by promising free blood transfusions for the donors or their family members.

Blood donors are given a certificate of proof each time they donate.

In Guangzhou, a regulation adopted in 2004 stipulates that people who donate 200 milliliters of blood or more in the city will receive blood transfusions for free if they ever need them.

Those who donate 600 milliliters of blood can also get free blood transfusions for their parents, children or spouse.

People have to pay for transfusions if they have not donated blood previously and have no close relatives who did. They also must pay "fees of mutual help", which are three times the cost a hospital pays for the blood.

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