Federal-Provincial-Territorial Conference of Ministers of Health


OTTAWA -- Health Minister Allan Rock and Saskatchewan Health Minister Clay Serby, on behalf of federal, provincial and territorial Health Ministers, said that Ministers had a productive meeting today. Ministers met with representatives of the Hepatitis C Society of Canada and the Canadian Hemophilia Society and listened to their ideas about ways to respond to the needs of all Canadians infected with hepatitis C through the blood system.

     "As representatives of the Societies have said, this is a very complicated issue which involves a number of difficult but legitimate questions and urgent needs which need to be addressed," said Mr. Serby.

     After listening to the submissions of the representatives of the Societies, Ministers discussed at length and identified a number of options for further consideration.

     All Ministers except Ontario and Quebec achieved consensus on the need to refer to the working group of officials the options that were developed, and to study them in more detail and decide on a course of action to maintain a national approach. Ontario and Quebec will be invited to participate in the working group.

     "We recognize that the cooperation and collaboration of all governments is essential to ensure that Canadians are treated fairly and equitably, no matter where they live," Mr. Rock said.

     Ministers also stressed the importance of the transition to the new Canadian Blood Services, which is targeted to take over operation of the blood system in September.

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