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Government Offer to Hepatitis C Sufferers

MEDIA RELEASE, April 18, 2000

Government Offer to Hepatitis C Sufferers

Health Minister Annette King said today an offer had been extended to some people who contracted hepatitis C through blood transfusions.

The offer applied to affected people regardless of whether or not they were represented by the lawyers presently acting for a group of hepatitis C claimants.

Mrs King said the Government had committed itself to a fair, reasonable and speedy resolution of the claims, and the Cabinet had made a decision on an offer today.

"We believe the offer is both fair and reasonable, and we hope it is acceptable," she said.

Mrs King met hepatitis C sufferers and a small delegation from the Haemophilia Society in January, and following this meeting the delegation came back with a specific proposal she agreed to take to the Government to consider.

The details of the offer remain confidential, and Mrs King said this meant she was constrained in comments she could make publicly.

Anyone who believed they might have been affected, and who had not already received information about the terms of the Government's offer, should write to the Hepatitis C Coordinator at the Ministry of Health (PO Box 5013, Wellington).

People who were unsure about their circumstances could also call the Ministry of Health (0800 938 839) for advice between 9am to 3pm, Monday to Friday.

ENDS

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