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06 Mar 2020

6th Mar 2020

Name and Constituency of Member of Parliament
Louis Ng Kok Kwang
MP for Nee Soon GRC

Question No. 3500

To ask the Minister for Health what is the rationale for banning ex-offenders from donating blood within one year of their prison release.

Answer

1       To ensure a safe and high-quality blood supply for our patients in Singapore, pre-donation interviews are conducted to screen blood donors for risk factors and blood donations are also tested for blood-borne infections. However, infections can only be detected some time after the blood donors have been infected. This is known as the window period.  Therefore, donors who have been exposed to infection risks will be asked to defer their donation until after the window period.

2        For this reason, the World Health Organisation recommends an appropriate deferral period after ex-offenders have been released from prison before blood donation. HSA has adopted a one-year deferral period, aligned with the practices of other countries such as Australia, Canada and the United States of America. It ensures that the window period after these donors become infected has passed, enabling the screening tests to detect blood-borne infections if any, as patient safety is utmost important and cannot be compromised.




Category: Parliamentary QA