The UK’s Haemophilia Society has voiced its disappointment over the Department of Health’s decision to postpone the publication of a review of the support made available haemophiliacs infected with contaminated blood products.
The report is expected to re-examine the level of ex-gratia payments made to the thousands of people infected with hepatitis C and HIV after they were treated with plasma products for their bleeding disorders in the 1970s and 80s.
A ministerial statement released this week noted that the report would be made available in early January, contrary to the Department of Health’s previous statement that it would be published by the end of this year.
Haemophilia Society chief executive Chris James branded the announcement “extremely disappointing and upsetting.
“It will bring dismay to our many members who were hoping to celebrate Christmas this year with the news that their Government understood their suffering and cared about their future,” James said.
“This further and unexpected delay to the announcement of the findings of the Department of Health Review has compounded their misery. Justice deferred is justice denied and we have been denied justice yet again.”
Almost 5,000 people with bleeding disorders were exposed to the contaminated blood products and contracted Hepatitis C; around 1200 of them contracted HIV. Some 2,000 people have since died.
The Ministerial Statement on 14 October stated: “I expect to be able to report the outcome of this work and my intentions by the end of 2010.”