Canadian Blood Services in Saskatoon has seen a decrease in donations for its fiscal year.
The clinic, located on Emerson Avenue, is collecting 126 fewer units of blood per month. They’ve also seen about 93 fewer new donors each month than required.
Officials said it’s concerned the opening of a private plasma clinic has taken a toll on its donation base.
In February, Canadian Plasma Resources – a for-profit plasma clinic – opened its doors on Quebec Avenue. They offer donors a $25 gift certificate for plasma.
Plasma is a fluid in blood which is used in products to treat various conditions.
In a statement to Global News, Canadian Blood Services said: “We are increasingly concerned about the impact that for-profit plasma companies that pay their donors may have on Canada’s volunteer, non-paid donor base for blood and plasma … There are no guarantees plasma donated to private companies will be used to help patients in Canada.”
The CEO of Canadian Plasma Resources, Barzin Bahardoust, said there isn’t any evidence that suggests their clinic would threaten the Canadian Blood Services donor base.
“We know that only approximately two or three per cent of our donors were blood donors previously,” he said.
“With that number, there really shouldn’t be any drop in the operations of Canadian Blood Services due to our operation.”
The Saskatchewan Ministry of Health said its primary concern is patient care.
“In other countries, paid and altruistic donation systems operate in harmony to provide a reliable and safe supply of plasma,” a statement said.
Canadian Blood Services continues to plead to the public for donations before the end of the year.