- Posted by: David Rees MS
- Category: News
On Wednesday 20th November David Rees AM voted in favour of the Recovery of Medical Costs for Asbestos Diseases (Wales) Bill, enabling the Bill to complete the final stages of the legislative process and become law.
The Private Members Bill, put forward by Mick Antoniw, AM for Pontypridd, will enable Welsh NHS costs for asbestos victims’ treatment to be recovered from negligent employers or their insurers, potentially raising up to £1m a year for the Welsh NHS. The Bill will place an obligation on employers who exposed workers to deadly asbestos to reimburse NHS Wales for the cost of treating those asbestos victims.
Hundreds of Welsh workers suffer from asbestos-related diseases, and exposure to asbestos has caused thousands more deaths over the past decades. However, the human cost of asbestos-related diseases is expected to continue into the future, with peak mortality not expected until 2015. Mick Antoniw AM argues that care for asbestos-related diseases places a huge financial strain on an already over-stretched NHS in Wales, and that where an employer has been negligent and civil compensation is due, NHS Wales should be reimbursed with the cost of medical treatment, with monies raised also going to support carers and families.
David Rees AM said: “I am proud to support the Recovery of Medical Costs for Asbestos Diseases (Wales) Bill and stand up for the many victims and their families who have been blighted by this terrible disease. It is extremely disappointing that the only party not to vote in favour of the Bill is the Conservatives, who have decided to join the side of the insurance companies as opposed to the victims and families. I know which side I’m on!”