New blood bank opens in Jurong East

New blood bank opens in Jurong East
Photo: ST

SINGAPORE - A new blood collection centre opened at Westgate Tower on Tuesday, making it more convenient for residents living in the Western part of Singapore to donate blood.

Officially opened by Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Finance, Mr Tharman Shanmugaratnam, Bloodbank@Westgate Tower has the capacity to collect 100 units of blood daily.

The new blood collection centre, managed by HSA in partnership with Singapore Red Cross (SRC), is expected to help meet national blood demand.

With Singapore's ageing population and more elderly developing age-related medical conditions, more than 220,000 units of blood would be required every year by 2030.

Blood usage is expected to increase at a rate of between 3-5 per cent annually, from the 120,000 units currently.

"The new blood bank is a critical part of both HSA and the SRC's proactive efforts to meet the current and future blood needs of patients in Singapore," said HSA in a statement to the media.

"It aims to encourage the growing working and residential population in the western part of Singapore to become regular blood donors," HSA added.

The first satellite blood bank was opened at Woodlands in 2011, followed by a second one at Dhoby Ghaut in 2012. Together, they collected about one third of the national blood supply last year.

Since 1946, blood donation numbers have grown from 287 units to more than 108,000 units in 2014.

In conjunction with the opening of the Bloodbank@Westgate Tower, HSA and SRC have put together an exhibition on the National Blood Programme at the foyer of Jurong East MRT station, and it is open to the public from now till July 5. The exhibition profiles the evolution and progress of the National Blood Programme to meet the blood transfusion needs of patients in Singapore since its inception in 1946.

maryanns@sph.com.sg

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