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Government must prevent private, for-profit blood system from opening in Nova Scotia

by Nova Scotia Health Coalition

Halifax, NS – News that Health Minister Leo Glavine has no problem with the creation of a private, for-profit blood system where people can sell their blood is astonishing and frightening.

Canada Plasma Resources (CRS) is lobbying provincial governments to be allowed to set up a for-profit blood system in Nova Scotia.  Such clinics would buy blood from individuals, putting the voluntary blood system operated by Canadian Blood Services in jeopardy, while raising serious safety concerns.  Yesterday, Glavine said he was fine with the clinic opening.

CRS initially tried to open three clinics in Ontario, but the Ontario Liberal Government passed legislation making the clinics illegal. Prior to introducing the legislation banning the clinics, Ontario Liberal Health Minister Eric Hoskins said, "This government feels it's extremely important to put in place legislation that safeguards the integrity of the voluntary system that exists and has existed for so long in this province. It's a bit of a slippery slope once you start offering people compensation for donating."

“The Nova Scotia Health Coalition is calling on the Nova Scotia Liberal Government to pass legislation like the Ontario Liberal Government did and ban the practice of paying for blood,” says Kyle Buott, Provincial Coordinator of the Health Coalition.

A private, for-profit blood system raises extreme safety concerns due to lack of accountability, potential improper screening of donors, and the inability to test for new diseases like the Zika virus.

“Nova Scotia should follow the lead from Ontario and Quebec, both of which have banned the practice of paying for blood donations,” says Buott. “Making money off something as essential to life as blood is morally wrong.”

Addition information about the campaign to stop for-profit blood systems can be found at bloodwatch.org.

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For more information please contact:

Kyle Buott
Provincial Coordinator
Nova Scotia Health Coalition

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Topics: Health
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