Health Canada

Health Canada

October 23, 2013 15:30 ET

Harper Government Adopts New Blood Regulations

Rules further strengthen the safety of Canada's blood supply

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - Oct. 23, 2013) - Today, the Honourable Rona Ambrose, Minister of Health, announced the adoption of new blood regulations.

"Having, for the first time, a stand-alone set of blood safety regulations will enable Canada to respond more rapidly to emerging diseases, nation-wide blood shortages and fast-changing technologies, all the while ensuring that Canadians continue to have access to one of the safest blood supplies in the world," said Minister Ambrose. "This is an important step and contribution to Canada's healthcare system on both a national and international scale."

The new Blood Regulations were developed after extensive consultations with the public, stakeholders, provincial and territorial governments, Canadian Blood Services and Héma-Québec. Having stand-alone regulations specific to blood and its components will serve to strengthen pre-existing requirements related to donor suitability assessment, collection, testing, labelling, storage, distribution, and importation. The regulations will officially come into force in one year to allow establishments to meet the new requirements.

"Canadian Blood Services has long met regulatory requirements and has been an active participant in improving the regulatory framework for blood and blood components. We welcome this consolidated and simplified framework. We are also pleased that it now extends beyond blood operators to cover all activities of the national blood system, from donor to recipient, as this will allow for more comprehensive, accurate and timely information on the safety and effectiveness of our products," said Dr. Graham Sher, Chief Executive Officer, Canadian Blood Services.

"Héma-Québec's priority is to supply Quebecers safe and optimal-quality products. We are always working to comply with the highest standards. Adopting specific Blood Regulations is a clear enhancement since it clarifies in one single source the requirements we, as a blood operator, have to comply with," said Dr. Jean De Serres, President and Chief Executive Officer of Héma-Québec.

Ensuring that Canadians have access to safe blood has been the cornerstone of Health Canada's response to the Krever Commission of Inquiry on the Blood System in Canada; these new regulations complete the Governments response to Krever Inquiry.

Canada continues to be a world leader in blood safety, as recognized by the World Health Organization.

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    Office of the Honourable Rona Ambrose
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