Swiss Red Cross cuts blood supply to broke Greece

Tuesday 26 February 2013 18.48
Greece fails to pay bills for blood supply
Greece fails to pay bills for blood supply

The Swiss branch of the Red Cross has said it is cutting its supply of donor blood to Greece because the country has failed to pay its bills on time.

The head of the Swiss Red Cross' transfusion service said the number of blood packets delivered to Greece will be halved to 14,000 by 2020.

Rudolf Schwabe confirmed Swiss media reports that Greece had run up debts of several million Swiss francs in the past.

Those debts have been repaid but Schwabe said the non-profit SRC took the decision to limit its financial risk.

The Swiss blood sent to Greece comes from unused emergency stockpiles. It helps meet high demand in Greece caused by the prevalence of thalassemia, a genetic disorder whose carriers need regular blood transfusions.