OPSEU is among twenty-eight organizations that have signed a public letter calling on Health Canada to consult before licensing the for-profit Canadian Plasma Resources to collect and pay for plasma donations at two Toronto clinics.
Published this week in the Hill Times, the letter notes the significant change in practice to Canada’s blood system.
“Although Health Canada is responsible for evaluating the safety and regulatory aspects of Canadian Plasma Resources, it has not examined the impact of these paid donation facilities on our voluntary blood and plasma donation system,” the letter states.
The organizations call upon Health Canada to create a real public policy review that allows interested parties to contribute to the decision-making process.
This BLOG was the first to break the story of the private plasma clinic last summer. It followed the closure of the Canadian Blood Services Thunder Bay plasma collection clinic last April.
Earlier this year Health Canada held a roundtable discussion on the issue with their own hand-picked stakeholders. Despite representing the largest group of Canadian Blood Services employees in Canada, OPSEU was excluded from the roundtable.
Health Canada promised they would open up the issue to on-line submissions following the posting of the proceedings from the roundtable. That has yet to occur.
Health Minister Deb Matthews has gone on record stating she would use the province’s powers to stop the for-profit clinics from opening.
Signatories to the letter include Dr. Monika Dutt of the Canadian Doctors for Medicare, Dr. Janet Maher of the Medical Reform Group, Pat Kerwin of the Congress of Union Retirees, Maude Barlow of the Council of Canadians, and Michael McBane of the Canadian Health Coalition.
The letter is also signed by Antonia Swann, the widow of James Kreppner. Kreppner was among the victims of Canada’s tainted blood scandal and was instrumental in lobbying for the Krever Inquiry. Kreppner died in 2009 at age 47.
OPSEU’s signatories to the letter are President Warren (Smokey) Thomas and Sean Allen, Chair of the Canadian Blood Services and Diagnostics Division.
To read the full letter, click here: Open letter – plasma clincs