Blood service

Costs of the Blood Service

The Blood Service’s income consists of the amounts paid by hospitals for supplied blood products as well as a few subsidies. This income is used to cover the costs of donor recruitment, blood collection, testing and processing of blood products and the distribution of blood products to hospitals. 

Financial surpluses are re-invested in new technologies, the development of transfusion in Flanders, and improving the service offered to donors and hospitals. The Blood Service is on standby 24 hours a day, seven days a week, right across Flanders, to ensure that requested blood products are delivered to hospitals safely and securely. 

The Blood Service is a trusted partner for donors, hospitals, patients, the government and other stakeholders. This trust has been built up between the various parties over time and is partly based on the assistance provided by countless donors who give their blood free of charge. Each year, the Blood Service supplies around 529,917 blood products to hospitals. Patients trust the Blood Service to provide a safe blood product.

Operational efficiency is part of the social responsibility of the Blood Service, together with ensuring financial stability within the Service. The Blood Service charges for its core service – providing sufficient quantities of safe blood – at a price set by the government. An international comparative survey found that the Blood Service was among the organizations charging least for a unit of leukocyte-depleted red blood cells.

The total operating costs of the Blood Service amounted to €83.29 million. These costs can be broken down by activity, as follows:

Collection of blood products: purchase of high-quality collection equipment, wages of the doctors and staff responsible for safe and orderly collection, payments for Red Cross sections.

Processing and distribution of blood products
Once the blood has been tested and approved, it is processed, stored and transported.
Laboratory testing of blood and blood products
This item of expenditure includes the cost of laboratory equipment and personnel. Our laboratories also carry out specialized tests at the request of hospitals and external laboratories (10% of total expenditure on testing of blood and blood products)

General operational costs: expenditure on Central Supporting Services (HR, Finance, Communication and ICT), on producing and printing publications, on administrative work for blood transfusion centers, on donor recruitment and on the Quality Department. This item also includes depreciation on investments and the costs relating to buildings.

Scientific research and development
The Blood Service believes it has a duty to advance and promote scientific research in its area of work (blood banking and transfusion in general). Scientific research supports and facilitates the introduction of new and better techniques into daily practice, which makes our blood even safer: Belgian Red Cross-Flanders’ goal is 100% safe blood.

Related items:

General overview

Humanitarian activities

Music for Life

Contributions to the International Red Cross

Asylum seeker reception