Today is St Patrick’s Day and we wanted to mark it by highlighting the excellent work of the Irish Haemophilia Society (IHS).
With the Penrose Inquiry Final Report being published next week we are particularly grateful to the Irish Haemophilia Society for sharing their experience of going through a similar process with the Lindsay Tribunal which reported in September 2002.
In Ireland the IHS worked with the Irish Government both before and after the tribunal report to usher in a new way of working for the benefit of people with bleeding disorders in Ireland. These are just some of the things which were achieved.
- A National Haemophilia Council was established. This became a Statutory Body with formal involvement for the IHS in recommending policy and priorities for Haemophilia Services.
- A Hepatitis C & HIV Insurance Scheme. This gives people affected by the disaster access to financial products without paying an additional premium for being infected.
- A Health (Amendment) Act Card. The HAA Card gives the person with Hepatitis C access to a wide variety of benefits in relation to ongoing medical and health care.
- Hepatitis C and HIV Compensation Tribunal. The tribunal sets compensation and support payments on the basis of an individual of pain, loss and suffering as a result of the contaminated blood disaster.
- Haemophilia Product Selection and Monitoring and Advisory Board. The IHS hold the Vice-Chair of this body which advises the Irish Government and recommends the clotting factor products used by conducting a National Procurement Tender processes.
- Reliable and long term financial support from the Irish Government. Irish Government funding has helped the IHS grow to the point where they employ 6 full time staff and 1 part time staff working hard for a bleeding disorders community in Ireland which is a very similar size to the community in Scotland. This means that the IHS is able to offer very high levels of support as well as world class information for their members.
Haemophilia Scotland takes inspiration and encouragement from what has been achieved in Ireland as we await the publication of the Penrose Report and look to the future here in Scotland.