Media Statement: Ontario Nurses’ Association Strongly Urges Ontarians to Fight the Ford Government’s Blood-for-Cash Scheme

February 22, 2024

TORONTO, ON., February 22, 2024 – The Ontario Nurses’ Association (ONA) strongly condemns the provincial government’s latest scheme to introduce profit into health care by violating the Voluntary Blood Donations Act, the law that bans donor payments and forbids profiting from the sale of blood and plasma donations, passed to help ensure the blood supply remains safe, following the Krever Commission’s review of the tainted blood scandal.

“Ontario nurses and health-care professionals are horrified at this government’s latest plan to enrich a private corporation while risking the health and well-being of Ontarians,” says ONA President Erin Ariss, RN.  “Premier Ford is laying out the red carpet for a private, multinational corporation to make off with profits from a blood and plasma supply that our patients rely on.  The evidence is clear from other jurisdictions: for-profit blood and plasma collection erodes the voluntary donor base and exploits the vulnerable. This scheme will put a safe blood supply at risk in Ontario.”

Grifols, a multinational private pharmaceutical company, has plans to open private, for-profit paid-plasma collection sites in three Ontario cities: Cambridge, Hamilton and Whitby. Ariss says, “This is just the next step in Premier Doug Ford’s plan to dismantle the province’s publicly funded and publicly delivered health-care system. It seems there is no low too far for this government to sink to in its quest to enrich his corporate donors and harm Ontarians’ health. I strongly urge the people of Ontario to speak up and protest this scheme.”

ONA is the union representing 68,000 registered nurses and health-care professionals as well as more than 18,000 nursing student affiliates, providing care affiliates, providing care in hospitals, long-term care facilities, public health, the community, clinics, and industry.