A campaign, initiated by a Scottish Minister, is seeking to push through new legislation, which may encompass former shipyard workers diagnosed with industrial diseases
The proposal was put forward by Stuart McMillan, MP for the Scottish National Party (SNP), and is set to undergo public consultation, closing on 22 June 2018.
Through prospective legislation, Mr McMillan plans to extend the Road Traffic (NHS Charges) Act 1999 by allowing the recovery of NHS treatment costs for conditions beyond those caused by negligent parties in road traffic accidents. This could include claims for ‘industrial deafness, asthma, skin diseases and asbestos-related condition ...’ where the negligence is caused, for example, by negligent employers.[i]
The rationale for Mr McMillan’s member’s Bill is that the NHS, in Scotland:
‘... should not be disadvantaged by paying the financial price for the care and treatment of individuals whose injuries have been caused by a person or organisation’s negligence ... millions are spent each year on treating industrial diseases which people have contracted through poor working practices and conditions.’
In reaction, Phyllis Craig MBE, Manager of Clydeside Action on Asbestos stated:
‘My hope is that the Bill will ultimately recover all costs of treatments provided by the NHS, as this will mean that it will be the liability of insurers to meet the costs of diagnosing, managing and treating those who have suffered an injury or illness can be enshrined in law’.
[i] ‘Former Glasgow shipyards workers urged to back negligence bill’ (30 March 2018 Evening Times) http://www.eveningtimes.co.uk/news/16126720.Former_shipyard_workers_and_miners_urged_to_back_negligence_bill/ accessed 11 April 2018