Federal and Provincial governments putting voluntary blood system at risk – warns Canadian Blood Services

“Paid blood donation will harm our voluntary system and puts patients’ health and safety at risk”, said NUPGE President, Larry Brown. “Governments must heed the Canadian Blood Services warnings and stop licensing these for-profit private clinics.

Ottawa (9 Aug 2017) – Larry Brown, President of the 370,000 member National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE), is raising the alarm that provincial and federal governments are not heeding the Canadian Blood Services warnings to stop the proliferation of private blood donation clinics.

Our blood system is being put at risk

In January, Canadian Blood Services (CBS) sent a letter to Federal Health Minister, Jane Philpott, warning that for-profit plasma collection could put Canada’s voluntary blood-donation system at risk. The federal government ignored this warning and on July 17 granted the for-profit Canadian Plasma Resources (CPR) their second license. 

CPR first opened in Saskatoon and now has the green light to move forward in Moncton. Provincial governments in Ontario, Alberta and Quebec have moved to ban paid plasma, but Saskatchewan and New Brunswick governments have worked with the federal government to allow CPR paid clinics.

The federal government has appointed an expert panel to look into the issues related to plasma collection, but only after granting approvals for clinics, which severely undermines the work of this panel.

Evidence supports stopping for-profit clinics

The Chair of the CBS board, cited evidence of the harm to voluntary blood collection from Hungary and the U.S. in a letter to Minister Philpott. As our federal health minister refuses to take action, some provincial politicians are happy to welcome paid-plasma clinics, despite the evidence that this will damage our voluntary blood collection system.

Expanding voluntary blood collection is the solution    

NUPGE has been working with our allies, including BloodWatch and the Canadian Health Coalition, to oppose for-profit collection. 

The Canadian Blood Services has approached governments with a plan to expand that would strengthen our blood system. CBS is proposing opening some 40 new plasma collection centres. NUPGE strongly believes in our blood system and is concerned that private, for-profit, blood and plasma collection will gravely harm the current voluntary system. 

“We are calling on our provincial and federal governments to act quickly to invest in the Canadian Blood Services plan and to reverse this dangerous move by a few provincial governments to embrace for-profit corporations” said Larry Brown, NUPGE President.

 


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

 

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