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Tuesday June 18, 2024

UK blood scandal victims to receive payouts this year: govt

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak issued a “wholehearted and unequivocal” apology and promised compensation for everyone affected

By AFP
May 22, 2024
A man seen wearing a T-shirt in this undated photo.— AFP/file
A man seen wearing a T-shirt in this undated photo.— AFP/file

LONDON: Victims of a decades-long contaminated blood scandal that has killed about 3,000 people in Britain will start receiving final compensation payments this year, the government said on Tuesday, with some likely to receive sums of around £2 million.

More than 30,000 people, including children, were infected with viruses such as HIV and hepatitis after being given the tainted blood between the 1970s and early 1990s.

A bombshell report released on Monday found the tainted blood affair was covered up by successive governments and health officials, and largely could have been avoided.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak issued a “wholehearted and unequivocal” apology and promised compensation for everyone affected.

Updating parliament on those plans on Tuesday, government minister John Glen said victims would receive interim payments of £210,000 ($267,000) within 90 days, before the final scheme becomes operational.

“Our expectation is that final payments will start before the end of the year,” he added, stressing that individual compensation will differ depending on circumstances.

Victims are still dying from what has been described as the biggest treatment disaster in the eight-decade history of the state-run National Health Service (NHS).