Canada Inches Closer to Allowing More People To Be Paid for Plasma
The U.S., one of the few places where blood plasma donors are legally allowed to receive compensation, currently provides about 70 percent of the world’s supply. With the passage of new legislation, Alberta, a province in Canada—which has allowed private organizations to pay for plasma in select cities and provinces for years—is inching closer to solving its own plasma shortage problems.
Albertans will soon be able to receive payment for their blood and plasma donations. Bill 204, the Voluntary Blood Donations Repeal Act, was introduced by Tany Yao, a member of the legislative assembly for Alberta’s provincial government, and passed in the legislature this week. It must now get royal assent—a mere formality—for it to become law. The bill overturns a 2017 prohibition on paid plasma, and will allow private companies to pay plasma donors for their efforts. If they so choose, people will still be able to donate blood and plasma without receiving compensation via Canadian Blood Services.
The bill was opposed by nurses unions, which claim patients who rely on plasma therapies will suffer from this. “While its supporters claim Bill 204 will address the sufficiency of the supply of plasma in Canada, it will in fact do the exact opposite,” said Linda Silas, president of the Canadian Federation of Nurses Unions, in a press release. “As our donors come to expect payment, our voluntary donor base for both blood and plasma will be jeopardized.”
United Nurses of Alberta’s president Heather Smith told Global News that “the government is putting its ideology and desire to support profiteers above what i
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