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Last Updated: Thursday, 3 June, 2004, 15:02 GMT 16:02 UK
Start-up for hepatitis C payout
blood donor
Hepatitis C sufferers are to receive compensation
A payout plan for people who contracted hepatitis C from infected NHS blood supplies will begin from 5 July in Scotland, it has been announced.

Health Minister Malcolm Chisholm said people affected could register their details from today with the Skipton Fund, which will manage the scheme.

It was set up after agreement by all UK health ministers.

Up to 20,000 will be paid to sufferers with a further 25,000 when they reach an advanced stage of the condition.

Mr Chisholm said: "I hope that everyone in Scotland who is entitled to apply will come forward.

"We have been working very hard with patient groups and others involved to ensure we have a system that is easy to use and understand."

Demands resisted

Previously, demands for compensation had been resisted on the grounds that the health service could not pay compensation where there was no fault on its part.

Up to 600 people living in Scotland could claim in the early years of the scheme.

The problem in Scotland dates back to the 1980s when hundreds contracted the disease from infected blood products - before the virus was identified and new screening techniques developed.



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