No perks for donors part of efforts to ensure blood safety

We thank Mr Tan Kim Lam for his observations ("Offer perks to regular blood donors"; last Wednesday).

We appreciate Mr Tan's immediate response to our call for blood. It is because of such selfless acts that lives are saved each day.

The scheme Mr Tan refers to was discontinued in 2002, although the Health Sciences Authority continues to honour the arrangement with active donors who were already on that scheme.

The move towards a fully non-remunerated blood donation system is aligned with the World Health Organisation and the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies in ensuring blood safety. It helps to safeguard against individuals who may be motivated to withhold important information regarding their medical histories and high-risk activities.

Just as importantly, voluntary non-remunerated blood donation celebrates the value of altruism and helps to engender a gracious and generous society.

The Singapore Red Cross has advocated voluntary, non-remunerated blood donation since our appointment as the national recruiter in 2001, and has since seen a steady increase of blood donors.

In the past decade, the number of units of blood donated in Singapore has increased from 66,000 units to more than 118,000 units.

We are thankful to the many donors who have come forward to donate blood regularly.

We are also grateful to the many donors who, like Mr Tan, respond promptly when there is a call for blood.

Such actions make our society a kinder place as we each play our part to serve humanity and save lives.

We will continually create platforms for blood donors to connect and share their positive experiences in their life-saving journey, and we look forward to welcoming many more on board.

Benjamin William
Secretary General, Singapore Red Cross