Victims of contaminated blood scandal face major cut to compensation from government
Feb 15, 2016 08:14 PM EST
England's health reforms could severely affect the funds for people with haemophilia who were accidentally infected with hepatitis c virus or HIV through blood contamination.
According to The Guardian, the Haemophilia Society warned that the Department of Health reforms in England will significantly cut the payments awarded to people with haemophilia who were victimized in the NHS tainted blood scandal.
The concern groups say that the Scottish government is proposing a major cut off to payments due to huge increase in the number of victims in the scandal in the 1970s and 1980s.
In the 1970s and 1980s people with haemophilia need blood products from thousands of donations. The blood products were brought in from the US where donors, included those in prison, were paid. UK ministers refused to accept liabilities on HIV infection being formally identified in 1983 and HCV not being recognized until tests to check donated blood were developed, the news source said.
The results of the tainted blood scandal harm the UK governments £400m in payments. But with the centralized healthcare, England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland are now planning their own schemes. The health department wanted to vary the measures in response to the loads of increasing number of victims and families for the less confusing system, The Guardian added.
In a BBC report, public health minister Jane Ellison has said that the government is in discussion on the new payment proposals. She said the £100M is in addition to the £25M taking the total to £225m over the five years to 2020. Aside from the cash, the government proposed to make a single body responsible for the new support scheme.
Ellison added the government wanted to "focus on those who are infected" and be able to "respond to new advances in medicine," the site said.
Although the government pledged an extra £100M on top of £25M, Eastern Daily Press reports that campaign groups have been claiming the amount could not compensate the financial and emotional impact the scandal brought on their lives.
Concern groups also feared that the single body replacing the various organizations and charities that dispense government funds will assume health assessments that may be hard with the claimants.
Another suggestion is that those infected with HCV under tainted blood will have access to treatments paid by the department funds, while others with the condition must wait for doctors to determine whether they can have the treatments from limited NHS budgets. Support for medication could be taken from the money allocated to subsidize victims, the news source held.
The England's Department of Health continues the consultation on the cases of National Health Services tainted blood scandal until April 15.