New Democrats introduce bill to ban pay-for-plasma clinics and protect blood supply

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VICTORIA— New Democrat health spokesperson, Judy Darcy, introduced a private member’s bill in the legislature that would ban pay-for-plasma clinics in British Columbia.

The Safe Blood for B.C. Act, is modeled after similar legislation in Ontario, and would protect British Columbia patients from the health risks of tainted blood, while ensuring we do not threaten the supply of voluntary blood donations in this province.

“There are companies operating in Canada that are paying for plasma donations. They locate in poor neighbourhoods, close to pay-day-loan shops and pawn shops and we understand they are looking to set up shop in this province,” said Darcy. “The health minister has not taken action, so it was up to the opposition to protect B.C.’s blood supply.”

“Justice Krever recommended strongly against paying for plasma in his commission, and was very clear that blood should remain a public resource and that donors should not be paid. Paying for blood products represents a threat to the safety of our blood supply, which was why his commission recommended strongly against paying for plasma,” said Darcy.

“This bill lives up to the spirit of that recommendation. It supports the position of the World Health Organization which clearly states that voluntary blood donations are safer and calls for a completely voluntary blood donation system by 2020.”

Darcy said that the use of paid clinics also threatens our supply of safe blood products.

“Paid clinics primarily serve corporations’ interests, not the public health interest,” said Darcy.

“The Christy Clark government could indicate that they stand with quality public health care and put patients first by supporting this important bill.”