Moratorium on private, for-profit blood clinics needed
Ottawa – Blood safety and public health care advocates met on Parliament Hill today to deliver a petition signed by 15,000 Canadians calling to ban private donor-remunerated and for-profit plasma collection in Canada, despite Minister Philpott’s refusal to receive the petition.
“We are asking that a moratorium be put on all licenses granted or pending to Canadian Plasma Resources so we can secure the safety and integrity of our Canadian blood supply. We have consulted extensively with Canadian Blood Services and it has been acknowledged that none of the plasma collected by these new private blood brokers will benefit Canadian patients,” said Kat Lanteigne, Executive Director, Blood Watch. “This is an urgent and pressing issue that Minister Philpott needs to address in an open and transparent manner.”
Speaking on Parliament Hill with NDP Health Critic Don Davies, advocates expressed their concern with private, for-profit blood clinics, especially during a time when Canadian Blood Services is trying to expand their plasma collection sites. *« La Société canadienne du sang a affirmé que 450 donateurs additionnels par mois au Nouveau-Brunswick sont nécessaires pour assurer notre approvisionnement en sang. Nous ne pouvons tout simplement pas gérer la concurrence pour les donateurs,» a dit Susie Proulx-Daigle, présidente, Syndicat du Nouveau-Brunswick.
Tom Graham, President of CUPE Saskatchewan where the only private for-profit plasma collection clinic is currently operating expressed his concerns about Canada’s ability to secure our domestic supply of plasma. “The current private plasma collector will sell all the plasma they collect to the highest international bidder giving Canada no guarantee of improving our own supply,” said Graham. “And paying individuals for their plasma will only reduce the number of potential donors in our superior voluntary, public blood supply system.”
“Adding another layer of uncertainty regarding safety of products from private, paid blood donations is why Canada’s nurses are joining Blood Watch and speaking out against the commercialization of the Canadian blood supply system and paid blood donations,” said Pauline Worsfold, Secretary-Treasurer, Canadian Federation of Nurses Union. “We echo the call for Minister Jane Philpott to put a moratorium on all licenses to Canadian Plasma Resources and any other private blood broker that has applied; to allow for a transparent consultation on the impact of private blood brokers to our public voluntary system; and to protect the Canadian public blood system by implementing a ban on the practice of selling blood and plasma to ensure blood and plasma remains a public resource.”
Blood Watch was joined by the Canadian Health Coalition, Canadian Federation of Nurses Union, New Brunswick Nurses Unions, New Brunswick Union, and the Canadian Union of Public Employees.
For more information or to arrange an interview, please contact:
Adrienne Silnicki, Canadian Health Coalition
Kat Lanteigne, Blood Watch
The Canadian Health Coalition is a public advocacy organization dedicated to the protection and improvement of public health care. You can learn more about our work at healthcoalition.ca.
Blood Watch is a not-for-profit organization advocating for a safe, voluntary, public blood system in Canada. We are committed to upholding Justice Horace Krever’s landmark inquiry and his recommendations. Find out more about our work at BloodWatch.org.