According to a recent article in Global Times, Beijing may soon experience blood bank shortages due to authorities scrapping a controversial donation system last month, which had been around since the late nineties. On paper, this system once allowed friends and families of patients to donate blood, but was frequently used by illegal agents to supply the black market.
The way the system worked is that if a patient needed blood, his family would submit a blood donation form and then donate blood in designated centers. Afterward, they would submit a donation certificate to the hospital in question, which would then distribute the blood to said patient. However, according to Beijing News, there were inadequate ways to evaluate the actual relationships between donors and patients, which created numerous loopholes. And where there are loopholes, there are those who take advantage.
Illegal agents would create businesses out of buying blood from fake family members, sometimes using unsafe methods or poor storage systems, jeopardizing blood safety. Also, they often targeted poor, vulnerable people who sold unhealthy amounts of their