“After what Canadians went through with the tainted blood scandal, it is appalling that the federal government is again allowing paid blood donations” — Larry Brown, President of NUPGE
Ottawa (12 Oct. 2017) — In a submission to the federal government’s Expert Panel on Immune Globulin Product Supply and Related Impacts in Canada, the National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) rejected the practise of paying for blood donations.
“The use of paid blood donations supplied by private, for-profit companies was identified as a key reason for the tainted blood scandal in which as many as 2,000 Canadians were infected with HIV and another 30,000 were infected with hepatitis C,” said Larry Brown, President of NUPGE. “After what Canadians went through with the tainted blood scandal, it is appalling that the federal government is again allowing paid blood donations.”
Federal government ignored warnings from Canadian Blood Services
The federal government ignored dire warnings from the Canadian Blood Services (CBS) that allowing paid blood donations could put Canada’s voluntary blood-donation system at risk (link to ) Instead, just 10 days before licensing the third clinic in Canada that is paying donors for plasma, Health Canada struck an expert panel to look into the issue.
The expert panel is not due to report until March of 2018.
In the interim, the federal government has passed the responsibility onto provinces to decide the future of our blood system. Given the grave concerns shared by CBS Chair, Leah Hollins, the federal government’s refusal to act to protect the blood system is very troubling
NUPGE position reflects our members’ experience
NUPGE represents workers in all parts of the health care system. We represent Canadian Blood Services (CBS) workers in Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, Ontario, Manitoba, Alberta and British Columbia. As frontline workers, our members are very aware of what is at stake and are strongly opposed to paid plasma.
NUPGE’s recommendations call for support to allow CBS to expand voluntary blood collection and for all governments to heed the Krever Commission's recommendations against paid plasma. The recommendations came from the inquiry headed by Justice Horace Krever, who was commissioned to investigate the tainted blood scandal in Canada.
NUPGE Components also calling for a ban on paid plasma
NUPGE stands by its Components who are pressing their provincial governments to follow the lead of Ontario, Alberta and Quebec and ban paid plasma collection.
In a statement earlier today, the NSGEU discussed the risk paid plasma represents for Nova Scotia and called for the provincial government to ban for-profit blood collections centres. “The NSGEU believes in a publicly funded and operated healthcare system that keeps our blood supply safe and available to patients who need it,” said Jason MacLean, President of the Nova Scotia Government and General Employees Union (NSGEU/NUPGE).
The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) is one of Canada's largest labour organizations with over 370,000 members. Our mission is to improve the lives of working families and to build a stronger Canada by ensuring our common wealth is used for the common good. — NUPGE