Limerick East): I have amended Clauses 5(i) and 5(ii) of the scheme to compensate persons who have contracted hepatitis C from the use of human immunoglobulin Anti-D, whole blood or other blood products.
Clause 5(i) of the scheme now reads:
"The making of a claim to the Tribunal under the Scheme will not involve a waiver of any right of action. If a claimant receives an award from the Tribunal after the establishment by the Minister for Health on 24 October 1996 of the Tribunal of Inquiry under the Tribunal of Inquiries (Evidence) Acts 1921 and 1979, the claimant will have a period from the date of receiving notice of the award to one month after the publication of the Report of the Tribunal of Inquiry, or one month after the date of receiving such notice, whichever shall later occur, during which the claimant can decide either to accept or reject the award. If a claimant neither accepts nor rejects the award within that period, the claimant will be deemed to have rejected the award. Only if the claimant accepts the award will the claimant be required to agree to waive any right of action which the claimant may otherwise have had against any party arising out of the circumstances of the claimant's claim and to discontinue any other proceedings instituted by the claimant. The execution of such a written agreement will be a condition precedent to the payment of any award under the Scheme".
Clause 5(ii) of the scheme now reads:
"In the case of an award to a claimant who is a minor, the acceptance of the award shall be subject to the approval of the High Court, which approval shall be sought within one month of the notification of the making of the award, or within one month after the publication of the Report of the Tribunal of Inquiry established on 24 October 1996 by the Minister for Health, whichever shall later occur, and the claimant shall have one month from the date of such approval within which to accept such approved award".
As the House will note the amendments have effect from 24 October 1996, the date on which I formally established the tribunal of inquiry.