A HUMAN sperm bank in Guangdong Province plans to raise the amount of cash awards to attract more volunteers and charge more to sperm recipients as collection and storage costs rise.
Officials with the Guangdong Family Planning Hospital, which runs the sperm bank, said they plan to raise the subsidy given to donors from 3,000 yuan (US$476) to 5,000 yuan this month to encourage more volunteers to donate sperm, yesterday's New Express Daily reported.
Currently, Guangdong charges only 800 yuan for sperm use, while the cost of each sample is between 9,600 and 13,800 yuan, including health checks, sperm tests and storage, and awards for donors, its official said. The national average charge for sperm use is 2,500 to 3,000 yuan.
"Even though we raise the subsidy, sperm donation is a charitable act. The current subsidy is not enough for a donor to complete the whole process that normally lasts several months," said Zheng Lixin, hospital vice president.
Besides raising the subsidy, the sperm bank has also applied to the government to raise fees. The hospital said only 20 to 25 percent of volunteers are qualified to donate sperm after health checks. But the primary check on each volunteer costs between 1,500 and 2,000 yuan for various infectious diseases like HIV/AIDS and hepatitis B and C.
Shanghai Sperm Bank said its maximum award for sperm donors has been raised from 3,500 yuan to 4,500 to 5,000 yuan this month, since it location moved from downtown to the Pudong New Area, and extra transportation subsidies are offered to volunteers.
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