Consultative Council on Hepatitis C presents Review of Health Services to Minister Martin
At the suggestion of Positive Action, the former Minister, Brian Cowen T.D. asked the Consultative Council on Hepatitis C to direct, co-ordinate and oversee a review of the health services available for persons who contracted Hepatitis C within the State through the administration of blood and blood products. The Council contracted Professor Hannah McGee and her team at the Health Services Research Centre at the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland to carry out the review on its behalf.
Ms Leonie Lunny, Chairperson of the Consultative Council, who presented the report to Minister Micheál Martin today said “the Council views the review as one of the most important achievements of it’s three year term of office”. While recognising that the major elements of services are in place for persons who were infected with Hepatitis C, the review also outlines recommendations on necessary and desirable enhancements.
In accepting the Review, Minister Martin pledged the full support of himself and his Department in implementing the recommendations contained in the report. “The response to the Hepatitis C infection of blood and blood products has been one of the major challenges to face the health services in our time, and the sustained response of the health services to this challenge will continue to be one of our most important goals in the coming years” said the Minister. “The work of the Consultative Council and the recommendations in this review will play an important role to helping me, my Department and the health services generally in meeting the challenges ahead and in providing persons with Hepatitis C with the services they deserve.”
The Minister paid tribute to the four support groups – Positive Action, Transfusion Positive, Irish Haemophilia Society and Irish Kidney Association – who made a valuable contribution to the review. First and foremost however, he acknowledged the input of those people infected with Hepatitis C who generously shared their experiences and their time with the research team, often at great emotional cost and personal inconvenience to themselves.