Press Release

Minister for Health and Children welcomes the announcement of an Insurance Scheme for people infected with Hepatitis C and/or HIV

The Minister for Health and Children, Mary Harney, T.D., today (27th September) welcomed the announcement of an insurance scheme for people infected with Hepatitis C and/or HIV through the administration within the State of contaminated blood or blood products.

“The infection of people with contaminated blood products was catastrophic for them” the Minister said. “This new scheme is an important measure to provide further support to people diagnosed with Hepatitis C and HIV as a result of contaminated blood products being administered to them within the State. Since 1997, it has been clear that the inability of these people to buy life assurance or mortgage protection policies added further problems to the damage they had already suffered.”

The Hepatitis C Compensation Tribunal (Amendment) Act, 2006, enacted on 16th July, 2006, provides the statutory basis for the insurance scheme. Regulations specifying the operational parameters of the scheme were published in January 2007.

This Act provides for a third form of recompense: compensation, the special health card and now, life assurance support. The Act also allows for the development of a scheme for travel insurance.