It was a scandal that should’ve shaken the nation but didn’t. The blood scandal that affected over 300 victims in Wales, who were infused with contaminated blood in the 70s and 80s, had far reaching effects on their lives, may have been talked about and reported but went scathingly unnoticed by the authorities until recently.
After almost 4 decades, and 2400 deaths UK wide, the matter promises to be brought to justice with the full support of the Health Minister and the UK Government. Victims suffered from Hepatitis and HIV due to these transfusions. The authorities that should’ve acted, underplayed and dismissed it according to reports.
The present government has set up a renewed inquiry that seeks to bring at least a semblance of justice to this inordinately prolonged matter. The inquiry team will be examining hundreds of documents and will talk to patients and families over the period of next four days to take evidence in Cardiff.
The health minister, Vaughan Gething, wants to delve deep into the issue, “There’s an absolute commitment from me to continue to sit down and to listen to the affected community, as we understand what more we can do today to provide them with all the help and support they need,” he said. He also mentioned that discussions for a financial set up are underway with the UK government.
Michael Imperato, a partner and solicitor at Watkins and Gunn is the voice that propelled the Welsh Government into action for the victims. “Don’t think that because it wasn’t necessarily on your watch that there is nothing you can’t learn from this and that there’s nothing you can’t be doing from this. what we don’t want is a ‘pass the ball’ culture. The Welsh Government have to deal with victims who are living and dying in Wales – I would ask them to try to lead the way in taking up the recommendations – put the others to shame and say ‘we in Wales care for our people”, he urged.