Press Release

Statement by the Minister for Health and Children

Two groups representing people infected with Hepatitis C, Transfusion Positive and Positive Action, have requested an independent examination by Senior Counsel to establish the facts relating to the notification by the IBTS of positive Hepatitis C test results to blood donors throughout the country since 1991.

However, 28 donors have already been identified by the IBTS as having had a delay in being notified of their Hepatitis C status.

The Department understands from the IBTS that all the donors in question were subsequently informed that they were infected with Hepatitis C and the full range of health care services is available to them.

The Minister will meet representatives of these groups within the next week to discuss the terms of reference for this examination.

Since the publication of the Report of the Tribunal of Inquiry into the BTSB (now the IBTS) a broad range of recommendations made by Judge Finlay have been implemented and services continue to be enhanced ensuring that the Irish blood transfusion services adhere to the highest possible quality assurance standards. Most recent annual reports to the Department from the Irish Medicines Board, confirm the substantial multi-annual programme of investment which has been made in the IBTS, has significantly improved blood safety and quality standards.