MEDIA RELEASE: NSGEU CALLS ON TIM HOUSTON TO KEEP OUR BLOOD SUPPLY SAFE AND AVAILABLE FOR PATIENTS
Nova Scotia Government and General Employees Union President Sandra Mullen is calling on the provincial government to protect Nova Scotians from pay-for-plasma corporate interests in light of the Canadian Blood Service signing a 15-year agreement with multinational corporation, Grifols, to open private plasma collection centres in Canada. This agreement includes a plan to collect paid-for plasma product.
A move to a pay-for-plasma system undermines the goal of achieving self-sufficiency in blood products – which is one of the reasons CBS was actually created – and may endanger patients. In the early 80’s, Canada’s blood supply was rocked by the tainted blood scandal, which killed thousands and infected more than 20,000 Canadians with HIV and Hepatitis C. In the aftermath of this scandal, the Krever inquiry investigated and concluded that that in order to keep Canada’s blood supply safe, we must never pay people for their donations.
“This move by CBS will change the way blood is collected in Canada and not for the better,” said NSGEU President Mullen. “Canadian Blood Services is derelict in their responsibilities to protect Nova Scotians, and in light of this new agreement, it is up to the Premier of Nova Scotia to take action. The NSGEU is calling upon the Tim Houston government to bring forward legislation to ban paid donations of any blood products in Nova Scotia.”
The NSGEU has called on previous governments and Ministers of Health to bring forward legislation and received the response that there was no imminent threat of paid donations in Nova Scotia. However, CBS’s recent decision to enter into partnership with Grifols is now a clear and present danger.
“It would be irresponsible for our government to stand by and allow companies to enter our province and put our public blood supply at-risk. We are asking Premier Houston to do what the previous government refused to do and stand up for what is right; keep our blood supply safe and in public control.”
The Nova Scotia Government and General Employees Union represents over 32,000 workers who provide quality public services Nova Scotians count on every day.
For more information, or to arrange an interview with NSGEU President Sandra Mullen, please contact:
Holly Fraughton, NSGEU Communications Officer,
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