Registed Nurses' Association of Ontario

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RNAO applauds the Ontario government and opposition parties for unanimously rejecting for-profit plasma collection

2014-12-12

TORONTO, Dec. 12, 2014 ¬– The provincial government has ensured Ontario's health system remains strong by rejecting for-profit plasma collection, say members of the Registered Nurses' Association of Ontario (RNAO).

This week, provincial legislators unanimously passed Bill 21, the Safeguarding Health Care Integrity Act, which protects voluntary blood donation by banning payment for plasma. For-profit plasma collection risks the safety of our blood supply, and the sustainability of our voluntary donation system by permitting donors to be paid for blood or blood products, says RNAO President Dr. Vanessa Burkoski, adding that, "the World Health Organization's position is that the safest blood donors are voluntary and non-remunerated. It is for this reason, and the Krever Commission's recommendations, that RNAO has continuously urged the province to prohibit this practice."

The Krever Commission investigated the tainted blood scandal in Canada during the 70s and 80s, where more than 1,000 Canadians were infected with HIV. Many more were infected with Hepatitis C through the blood supply. The commission issued a number of recommendations, including one that says donors of blood and plasma should not be paid for their donations - except in rare circumstances. "Now, thanks to our Minister of Health, Dr. Eric Hoskins, and the unanimous support of opposition parties, Ontario's blood supply remains safeguarded, and so do Ontarians," says RNAO's Chief Executive Officer, Dr. Doris Grinspun.

The Registered Nurses' Association of Ontario (RNAO) is the professional association representing registered nurses, nurse practitioners, and nursing students in Ontario. Since 1925, RNAO has advocated for healthy public policy, promoted excellence in nursing practice, increased nurses’ contribution to shaping the health-care system, and influenced decisions that affect nurses and the public they serve. For more information about RNAO, visit our website at RNAO.ca or follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

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For more information, please contact:

Melissa Di Costanzo, Communications Officer/Writer
Registered Nurses’ Association of Ontario (RNAO)
Phone: 416-408-5606 / 1-800-268-7199 ext. 250
mdicostanzo@RNAO.ca